May 25, 2018
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Auction reset for MDI gas station with faulty fuel pipes

By Bill Trotter, BDN Staff

BAR HARBOR, Maine — The auction of an idle gas station that has defective underground fuel piping has been delayed, according to officials.

The Parkadia gas station and convenience store was set to be auctioned off on Oct. 30 but the auction was postponed because of severe weather caused by the remnants of Hurricane Sandy.

On Tuesday, officials with the auction company handling the store and with the bank that is foreclosing on the property said that the auction has been rescheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 13, at the Bangor office of attorney Curtis Kimball. Kimball, an attorney with Rudman Winchell, represents the lender, Machias Savings Bank.

Up for auction along with the store were two nearby residential properties, which like the store were owned by local inn owner David “Tim” Ray. The residential properties were auctioned off on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Kimball on Tuesday declined to say why the gas station auction has been delayed another week, saying only that the bank wanted to wait until Nov. 13.

Whoever ends up buying the property and business will face additional costs in replacing the inadequate underground fuel lines, which the state says have to be removed.

According to Maine Department of Environmental Protection documents in the packet of information compiled by auction firm Tranzon Auction Properties, the gas station has inadequate piping in its fuel delivery system between the underground tank and the dispensers. In April, DEP sent Ray a notice indicating that the piping should not be used for ethanol blended gasoline and that the piping could fail.

“This notice requires that you immediately stop using the piping at this location to distribute gasoline and that you make arrangements to remove the piping from the ground,” the DEP wrote in the notice. “Failure to remove this piping from use within 30 days may result in additional enforcement action by the Department.”

Timothy Rector, environmental specialist with DEP, said Wednesday that the flexible type of piping called Enviroflex was installed in the early 1990s but was recalled in 1995 by its manufacturer, Total Containment. Total Containment is no longer in business, he said.

Rector said the piping had problems and cannot be used with ethanol-blended gasoline, which now is commonplace in Maine. He said the piping can be used with diesel or heating fuel.

The DEP official said he has been contacted by some interested parties about the fuel system at Parkadia and has recommended that everything in the store’s fuel system but the underground storage tanks be replaced. He said the only thing that must be removed from the ground, regardless of how the property is used, is the defective flexible piping.

“It is not in service and cannot be returned to service until it is compliant with state law,” Rector said. “There’s no reason to leave that in the ground.”

If a new owner decides not to sell fuel at the business, he said, every component of the fuel system at the store will have to be removed, including the storage tank, in accordance with state law.

Attempts Wednesday to contact Kimball, the bank’s attorney, and Ray, the prior owner, to ask them about the defective piping were unsuccessful.

Follow BDN reporter Bill Trotter on Twitter at @billtrotter.

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