AG Gansler: Edgewood Auto Shop Pleads Guilty to Falsifying Inspection Reports on Underground Gasoline Storage Tank
Company reported passing tests that were never taken
Baltimore, MD ( July 25, 2013) - Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that John R. Pasquinelli Enterprises, Inc., located in Edgewood, pleaded guilty to making a false statement in a 2011 underground storage tank system compliance inspection report. Harford County District Court Judge Mimi R. Cooper imposed a fine of $10,000 with all but $5,000 suspended and placed the corporation, which conducts business as J.C. Discount Tires, on probation for one year.
"A failing underground gasoline tank poses a unique threat to the drinking water and overall health of the surrounding community," said Attorney General Gansler. "Regular inspections of these facilities help prevent the safety risks and great expense that follows when gasoline seeps into the soil and eventually the water table."
The company's false report was discovered by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) after a discrepancy was observed between the report submitted by the company hired to do the testing and the report ultimately submitted by the company. The testing company had been told by the defendant not to perform a test on the facility's "catch basin," also known as a spill bucket. However, the testing company's report had been altered by the defendant to show a passing test for the "catch basin."
An investigation revealed that the facility's first record of "catch basin" testing was performed in 2008. At that time, the "catch basin" for the regular gasoline tank fill port had failed. The next record of testing received by MDE was in 2009 when three spill buckets failed. No testing results were received for 2010.
In announcing the guilty plea, Attorney General Gansler thanked Environmental Crimes Unit (ECU) Deputy Chief Jay Elliot Robinson, ECU Investigator David Williams and MDE Regional Compliance Supervisor Michael Frank for their work on the case.