Goodhue, MN (KROC-AM News) - State officials have accused an area company of illegally installing an aging underground fuel tank and taking elaborate steps to keep it hidden from regulators. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says Fitzgerald Excavating and Trucking in Goodhue has agreed to pay an $80,000 penalty and take corrective actions.

State officials say business owner Jason Fitzgerald acquired a 12,000 gallon fuel tank that had been removed from a gas station and installed it himself. The PCA says the tank is 30 years old and poses a high risk of leaking.

Investigators also discovered Fitzgerald had poured a concrete pad over the underground tank and placed several 1000 gallon aboveground fuel tanks on top of the pad. The fuel pumps for the underground tank were installed on the above ground tanks, which had holes cut in the bottom and pipes connecting them to the illegal tank. Fitzgerald also hid the fill pipes inside a modified tool box and camouflaged the vent pipes to look like support posts for an awning.

The PCA reports a number of air quality and solid waste violations were also found at the property and notes this is the third time since 2007 the MPCA has directed Fitzgerald to take corrective action and pay a penalty for violating solid waste rules.

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