Thirteen gas stations owned by or connected to a Port Jefferson man had improperly managed fuel storage tanks that could contaminate groundwater in Long Island and New Jersey, federal prosecutors and environmental officials said in a lawsuit Wednesday.
The suit, filed in Central Islip in the Eastern District of New York, names as defendants Genesis Petroleum Inc. and 20 other companies that own or operate gas stations from Bellport to Newark, New Jersey. Adnan Kiriscioglu of Port Jefferson was “actively involved” with all of the gas stations and many of the companies, which share addresses and phone numbers, prosecutors said.
The defendants’ “repeated violations” of environmental law “put groundwater at risk of contamination, potentially endangering the health and safety of residents of Nassau and Suffolk Counties in New York as well as residents of New Jersey,” U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue said in a statement. The suit asks for penalties of up to $608,000 per day for violations at 38 underground tanks.
Nine of the 13 gas stations named by prosecutors are on Long Island. Three are in Freeport and one each is in Amityville, Bellport, Commack, Medford, Miller Place and Roosevelt. The other four gas stations are in New Jersey.
Patchogue lawyer Robert Dooley, who an Eastern District spokesman said was representing Kiriscioglu, did not respond to a request for comment. Kiriscioglu could not be reached.
Prosecutors said the companies repeatedly violated environmental law from 2012 to 2016 by failing to install spill and overfill prevention equipment and failing to report suspected releases.
Gas attendants at some stations refused to allow Environmental Protection Agency officials to inspect facilities, and the companies failed to respond to agency requests for information about underground storage tanks, according to the suit.