Pence fam­ily’s failed gas sta­tions cost tax­pay­ers $20M+

The Norwalk Hour - - OBITUARIES/NEWS - Hearst wire ser­vices

Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence turns nos­tal­gic when he talks about grow­ing up in small-town Colum­bus, Ind., where his fa­ther helped build a Mid­west­ern em­pire of more than 200 gas sta­tions that pro­vided an up­bring­ing on the “front row of the Amer­i­can dream.”

The col­lapse of Kiel Bros. Oil Co. in 2004 was widely pub­li­cized. Less known is that the state of In­di­ana — and, to a smaller ex­tent, Ken­tucky and Illi­nois — are still on the hook for mil­lions of dol­lars to clean up more than 85 con­tam­i­nated sites across the three states, in­clud­ing un­der­ground tanks that leaked toxic chem­i­cals into soil, streams and wells.

In­di­ana alone has spent at least $21 mil­lion on the cleanup thus far, or an av­er­age of about $500,000 per site, ac­cord­ing an anal­y­sis of records by The As­so­ci­ated Press.

To as­sess the pol­lu­tion costs, the AP re­viewed thou­sands of pages of court doc­u­ments, tax state­ments, busi­ness fil­ings and fed­eral fi­nan­cial dis­clo­sures, as well as fed­eral and state en­vi­ron­men­tal records for In­di­ana, Ken­tucky and Illi­nois. The to­tal fi­nan­cial im­pact isn’t clear be­cause In­di­ana of­fi­cials have yet to re­lease cost fig­ures for 12 con­tam­i­nated ar­eas. Other records are in­com­plete, redacted or miss­ing.

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