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January 2005

Suozzi/ Bogsted Close "Bootleg" Pumps at Gas Stations More Closings to Follow

Mineola, N.Y- Nassau County Executive was joined by Commissioner of Consumer Affairs Roger Bogsted to announce that the Nassau County Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA) has shut down gas pumps at A&A Liberty Gas Station on Union Avenue in Westbury after investigators uncovered the bootleg delivery and sale of gasoline containing MTBE, a known groundwater contaminant outlawed in New York State. The Office of Consumer Affairs' investigation revealed an illegal profit-driven operation that posed serious potential harm to our groundwater and environment.

Suozzi/ Bogsted Close "I am fully committed to taking pro-active measures to protect our environment, and will ensure that the Nassau County Office of Consumer Affairs catches and closes down gas pumps at stations that violate the law in order to keep our groundwater clean and safe," said County Executive Suozzi.

The Nassau County Office of Consumer Affairs conducts routine spot checks for MTBE and it is estimated that 15-20 of the County's gas stations may be selling MTBE gas. Gas pumps at violating stations will then be closed and the gasoline will be impounded until a remedial plan to move the gas out of state is approved by the Office of Consumer Affairs. If found guilty, gasoline station owners are subject to a fine of $10,000 per gasoline tank.

Roger C. Bogsted, Commissioner of the Nassau County Office of Consumer Affairs stated, "Every step must be taken to assure consumers that the products they are purchasing are the ones that are being represented to them and that all laws and regulations are being followed. We must take all means necessary to make certain our groundwater aquifers are protected."

State Senator, Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., a sponsor of state legislation dealing with the MTBE said, "The intent of the ban of MTBE as a gasoline additive is due to its dangerous nature and its speed of contamination. To discover that some area gas stations are not adhering to the law and are not protecting their neighbors is appalling. We need to continue our efforts to ensure the safety of Long Island's environment so that it is known that the well-being of our communities is the primary goal."