AG Kaul announces environmental judgment requiring Gage Marine Corporation pay a $25,000 penalty

Feb 9 2022

MADISON, Wis. – Attorney General Josh Kaul announced today a civil judgment against Gage Marine Corporation (Gage Marine) requiring it to pay a $25,000 monetary penalty for alleged violations of the State’s underground petroleum storage tank laws that occurred at Gage Marine’s Walworth County marina fueling facility located next to Lake Geneva.


“If an underground tank might be leaking, actions must be taken to stop gasoline from being discharged into the environment,” said Attorney General Kaul. “Underground storage tank owners and operators must pay attention to, and act upon, the information they are receiving from tank monitors and inspections.”


According to the Complaint, starting in January 2019, Gage Marine’s premium unleaded underground storage tank (unleaded UST) regularly contained excess amounts of water, which indicated that the unleaded UST might be leaking gasoline. It was not until June 2019 that Gage Marine tried to determine the cause of the water in the unleaded UST. Unfortunately, the actions taken by Gage Marine in June 2019 did not stop the unleaded UST from accumulating water. Twice during June 2019, the unleaded UST failed a leak detection test. Product inventory verification records between June 19 and 21, 2019 showed that approximately 235 gallons of gasoline were missing from the unleaded UST.


On July 18, 2019, Gage Marine had a camera inspection performed on the inside of the unleaded UST that confirmed that the unleaded UST had a hole in it and had released gasoline into the environment. However, Gage Marine did not remove the unleaded UST or take actions to clean up the gasoline contamination until December 2, 2019 when it removed the unleaded UST from the site.


Gasoline discharged into the environment can contaminate soil, groundwater, and nearby surface waters. Exposure to spilled gasoline can significantly harm the health of humans and wildlife.


Assistant Attorney General Bradley J. Motl represented the State and worked closely with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to obtain this judgment. The Order for Judgment was signed by Walworth County Circuit Court Judge David M. Reddy on February 7, 2022.


Because this compromise was reached prior to the commencement of a civil action, requirements of 2017 Wisconsin Act 369 do not apply.