Oregon Department of Justice

Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum

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Attorney General Resolves Case Against Stayton Companies Specializing in Underground Storage Tank Removal

March 13, 2000

Attorney General Hardy Myers today resolved a case against an Oregon company that specialized in the removal of underground storage tanks and testing for contaminated soil. Named in an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance filed today in Marion County Circuit Court are Charles Getter of Stayton and his company, REA Tech Management, Inc., which did business as Three Aces Environmental and Genesis Environmental.

"Home owners have every right to expect paid, licensed professionals to conduct accurate soil testing and quality removal or sealing of their underground heating oil tanks," Myers said. "It appears customers of these companies rarely received the service they paid for."

Department of Justice investigators working with Department of Environmental Quality staff determined most victims were residents of Marion, Clackamas, Washington and Multnomah counties who were buying or selling homes and had their underground heating oil tanks tested and/or removed as a condition of sale. Complaints ranged from flawed testing procedures resulting in continued leaking tanks to defective sealing of tanks and inadequate removal of contaminated soil.

Under the terms of the Department of Justice agreement, which admits no law violations, consumers have 5 years from today to file a claim with Getter seeking reimbursement of money paid for inadequate re-testing, site clean-up or removal of contaminated soil by Getter's companies. Getter also agrees to comply with DEQ licensing regulations and the Unlawful Trade Practices Act. Failure to do so will result in additional civil penalties. DEQ also is currently negotiating an agreement with Getter.

Attorney General Myers suggests consumers take the following steps when looking for a company to test or remove underground heating oil tanks:

  • Call DEQ and request a list of licensed contractors who conduct soil analysis.
  • Call the Attorney General's consumer hotline and ask about complaints against companies under consideration for hire.
  • Call DEQ's hotline at (503) 229-5441 for general information about underground storage tank testing.
  • Upon having a storage tank sealed or removed, check for lingering petroleum odors. If odor persists, call the company and ask them to re-test the area for contaminated soil.

Customers of the three companies who want information concerning possible problems with services may call Mitch Scheel at DEQ, (503) 229-5618. Consumers also may call the Attorney General's toll-free, consumer hotline at 1-877-877-9392 or (503) 378-4320 (Salem area only) or (503) 229-5576 (Portland area only) or write Financial Fraud/Consumer Protection, 1162 Court Street, N.E., Salem, Oregon 97310. Information on the Getter settlement also is available on the Department web site at www.doj.state.or.us. DEQ's web site, www.deq.state.or.us contains the administrative rules governing storage tank testing and fact sheets describing the tests.

Contact:

Jan Margosian, (503) 947-4333 (media line only) jan.margosian@doj.state.or.us |
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