[author: Chris Paul]
Owners of land on which petroleum underground storage tanks are located are responsible for the cleanup of gasoline released (In re Huntington and Kildare Inc. v. Grannis, N. Y. App. Div., No. 512100, 11/3/11). Huntington and Kildare Inc. argued that because it does not own the storage tanks on the property, it cannot be held liable as a discharger. The court, citing the ruling in New York v. C.J. Burth Services Inc., 915 N.Y.S.2d 174 (N.Y. 2010), said that liability was based on capacity to prevent spills or clean up contamination rather than on ownership. Huntington and Kildare knew for years that the property had a petroleum contaminant plume and that the storage tanks were not properly abandoned in place.