Thursday, May 18, 2017

Pilot Gets 2nd Environmental Citation Under Haslam

By Walter F. Roche Jr.

Tennessee environmental officials have issued a violation notice for a Pilot Flying J facility for only the second time since Gov. Bill Haslam, whose family owns the truck stop firm, took office in early 2011.
The notice along with a $3,200 fine was issued May 10 for a Pilot Flying J. facility in Greeneville.
According to the notice issued by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation the violation was discovered during an inspection on Nov. 25, 2016 of the Greene County facility.
The inspection showed piping for an underground fuel storage tank failed to include an automatic leak detection device. Also missing from the truck stop at 11190 Baileyton Rd. in Greenevile was a required shear valve anchoring device.
The original 10-page complaint against Pilot was issued in the name of TDEC Commissioner and Haslam appointee Robert J. Martineau.
According to TDEC records the last time a citation was issued against the Knoxville, Tenn. truck stop firm was on Nov. 25, 2013 for a facility in Pioneer, Tenn. The company was fined $2,000 for failure to have required overfill protection.
 The next oldest citation came on Nov. 8, 2010, about two months before Haslam took office. In fact 10 violation notices were issued against Pilot in 2010 alone.
TDEC records show Pilot had corrected the recent deficiencies at the Greeneville station by Dec. 7 of last year.
Asked about the citation and whether Pilot might have received favorable treatment the company issued a statement indicating that the long gap in citations was due to the company's diligence.
"Pilot Flying J fuel tanks are inspected regularly nationwide. The company works hard to ensure that our tanks are always in compliance. When that occurs, we address the issue promptly and thoroughly," the company statement said.
The violation notice issue in November of 2010 was for a Pilot facility in Maryville, Blount County. The firm was fined $3,500. 
Pilot is headed by James A. Haslam, the brother of Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. Bill Haslam, a former Pilot executive, still has an ownership interest in the company. 

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