A northwest Pennsylvania dealership has paid $70,000 to settle charges that it spilled waste oil down a drain, polluting a nearby lake.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection billed Walker Brothers Buick-Chevrolet Inc. of Edinboro, Pa., for cleanup costs.
The state estimates the dealership spilled 80 gallons of waste oil.
Although the state cleaned up most of the oil, some escaped into the Edinboro storm sewer system and was discharged into Edinboro Lake.
The spill, which occurred in February, was unnoticed until March 28 after a winter thaw.
"The Department of Environmental Protection spent a number of days responding to the spill and hired an environmental consultant to conduct the actual cleanup work," says Kelly Burch, the department's northwest regional director. "The cost of a response like this can add up very quickly."
The dealership was not fined and did not admit wrongdoing as part of the Aug. 6 settlement.
"It was an accidental spill, and we cleaned most of it up," says Craig Walker, the dealership's general manager. "Only a few gallons mixed with emulsified soap went down the drain. It didn't kill wildlife or hurt anything. We have capped the drains so that it can't happen again."