TOLONO – Freedom Oil Company officials say its fuel tanks played no role in the closing of their Tolono location last week and that the decision to close it was the result of their trying to sell it without success.
According to Freedom president and owner Michael Owens, the company bought the store at 101 N. Watson St. in August 1993.
"Freedom Oil chose to close this location after failing in our unadvertised attempts to sell the location over the last few years," Owens wrote in an e-mail. "We closed the location because of numerous economic reasons, including ever increasing payroll costs (Illinois minimum wage) and increasing expenses (electricity and other utility costs) and decreasing business volume."
According to Maggie Carson, spokeswoman for the Springfield-based Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, a release at the Freedom station was reported June 3. A 10,000-gallon tank and a 6,000-gallon tank were pinpointed as the potential cause of the spill, she said.
"The gas tanks at Freedom Oil Tolono have been tested and proven not to leak," Ownes continued in his e-mail.
Carson said that the IEPA was notified because a release was reported to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.
"No matter what the cause of it, something got into the environment that shouldn't have been there," Carson said.