Convenience chain 7-Eleven has been fined for failing to address a petrol leak at one of its Melbourne service stations for almost two years.
But the company insists it's not a clear-cut case.
The global brand has been fined more than $7700 after hydrocarbons were found in groundwater beneath the suburban Newport site.
Victoria's Environment Protection Authority says 7-Eleven failed to act in a timely manner.
The company doesn't dispute that it first learnt of the contamination in July 2015, but says the leak didn't warrant "active remediation" and had been monitoring the situation.
After testing late in 2016 showed the leak was increasing, consultants were asked to investigate further and take remedial action.
But the EPA claims 7-Eleven knew weathered petrol was in groundwater at the premises and "failed to undertake any form of clean up".
A tip-off to the authority's pollution hotline in February prompted the investigation and the subsequent issuing of an order that 7-Eleven uncover the extent of the contamination and show how it will clean it up.
"We have already shared information with the EPA that shows the issue is not as clear-cut as it has alleged, and we are seeking further advice in relation to the matter," 7-Eleven spokesman Clayton Ford said in a statement.
"7-Eleven is disappointed by the EPA's pre-emptive statement before the proper processes have been fully worked through."
The chain is able to contest the fine.