California sues Flying J for alleged tank tampering

| 5/3/2006

California Attorney General Bill Lockyer has filed a lawsuit alleging Flying J Inc. committed numerous violations of underground storage tank laws and tampered with leak detection devices at six of its truck stops and travel plazas in the state.

According to the attorney general’s office, independent investigations by local regulatory agencies allege that Flying J – based in Ogden, UT – repeatedly failed to correct problems with underground tanks at six of its retail facilities, even company officials were advised of violations.

“Not only did Flying J repeatedly fail to inspect its underground tanks, even worse, it disabled leak sensors,” Lockyer said in a statement. “This flagrant violation of the law put our public health, communities and the environment at great risk from gasoline and diesel spills. Company officials refused the opportunity to voluntarily come into compliance with the law, so we are filing this lawsuit to force them to clean up their act.”

A call to Flying J spokeswoman Virginia Parker by Land Line regarding the lawsuit was not returned Wednesday.

Lockyer filed the lawsuit April 26 jointly with five district attorneys. The complaint, filed in the San Joaquin Superior Court, alleges that Flying J violated 50 separate provisions of California’s Health and Safety Code and Unfair Competition Law.

Additionally, the complaint alleges Flying J tampered with and disabled leak detection systems, which alert operators of potential leaks and spills from tank systems. The company also allegedly failed to properly train its employees in the management of hazardous materials and wastes generated from its operations, according to the complaint.

Flying J could face multi-million dollar penalties if convicted.

– By Aaron Ladage, staff writer,