Archive for Saturday, June 10, 2006

After leak, gas station is back in business

June 10, 2006

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The Lawrence filling station that leaked the gasoline that fueled an April 30 apartment house fire began temporarily selling gasoline again Friday.

Presto Phillips 66, 602 W. Ninth St., had not sold fuel for several weeks in the fire's aftermath as the Kansas Department of Health and Environment made inspections and worked to clean up the area.

According to a KDHE statement released Friday, a concrete contractor recently finished work on a final curb-cut entrance to the station. The contractor also removed and replaced a 10- by 12-foot section of concrete because it did not meet the contractor's quality inspection.

Fire investigators have blamed heavy rainfall on April 29 for helping wash underground gasoline that had leaked from a subterranean Presto tank into the basement of an apartment house at 838 La. They concluded that a spark from the pump or a pilot light or other device ignited the fire that destroyed the house and displaced several people living there.

The home's owners, Lelon Capps and Kandis Capps Taylor, and a tenant, Curtis Johnson, have filed a petition in court seeking damages from Presta Oil Inc.

Because of little recent rain in the area, the recovery of underground fluid in the area had slowed, according to the KDHE. The recovery was part of the agency's clean-up efforts.

The tank collecting the fluids to be pumped was about one-fifth full Friday morning, according to KDHE. The soil-vapor system that vents gasoline fumes continues to "effectively remove contamination," KDHE said.

The agency also began more groundwater sampling Friday, and staff members expect results in about a week. KDHE also expects results on samples of fluids in the area by Monday.

KDHE workers had asked residents of the Old West Lawrence neighborhood to watch water levels in their basements in the event of a heavy rain. KDHE expected to have most of the gasoline cleaned in the area within months and all of the spilled fuel removed within a year.

Awarding a final permit for the station to sell gasoline will depend on "satisfactory performance of their facility operation," according to KDHE.

Presto vice president Doug Wald did not return calls Friday seeking comment.

Comments

ASBESTOS 9 years, 1 month ago

"KDHE expected to have most of the gasoline cleaned in the area within months and all of the spilled fuel removed within a year."

Seems like KDHE is not telling us everything. WIth this do they mean the "free product" ie raw gasoline leaked will be recovered in a few months and if the"spilled fuel" (Which was gasoline) it their verbage for "gasoline contaminated soils", which will be air sparged in a year. IS this what they mean? SOulc a KDHE spokesman make that just a little bit more clear....it is after all the whole reason the agency exists.

"Awarding a final permit for the station to sell gasoline will depend on "satisfactory performance of their facility operation," according to KDHE."

Ah yes, the agency that failed to acknowledge the leak, incorrectly responded to it, and gave waveoffs and poor excuses for their deplorable regulatory behavior, ....these are the guys who are going to assess the Gas Stations "satisfactory performance"...you have got to be kidding me. We need some third party oversight of this absurd regulatory agency as issues they deal with are no longer transparent, nor legal in their execution. Their SIP even violates the Federal RCRA UST law, AND they are not in compliance with their very own SIP.

"The tank collecting the fluids to be pumped was about one-fifth full Friday morning, according to KDHE. The soil-vapor system that vents gasoline fumes continues to "effectively remove contamination," KDHE said."

Again I don't trust them as they have fouled this thing up royally. I do not trust the KDHE with the public's health concerns and issues, and I do not believe the Public should just swallow this BS from KDHE. HOW DID THEY VERIFY THAT THE PROCESS WAS "effectively remove contamination"? It is only one fifth full as opposed to what? Are they getting less gas recovery because there is less gas underground or just less gas in the recovery well in which they placed it? Is there less gas, OR is the area they put the recovery wells in the wrong place and simply put located for convienence or for efficiency? I would bet the former, convience. OK KDHE, show us why you chose the particular location and the risk assessment done on it and the projections for the health impact for the good Citizens of Lawrence. THAT is YOUR JOB, is it not?

ASBESTOS 9 years, 1 month ago

It is funny that there is NO discussion of PENALTY for contaminating the environment and adding inconvienence to the citizens that own the houses.

As a tesitment to a very good book called ENVIRONMENTAL INCOHERENCE (not out in print just yet) this is ironic. IF PRESTA had exposed a woman's bare breast on TV on their commercials they would be fined $325,000 and there is no cleanup costs, however if there is an Environmental Health or Safety issue, it is difficult to get even a $1000-5000 fine for the responsible party.

Why would that be?

old_man 9 years, 1 month ago

Sounds like this reporter needs to ask a few more questions to clarify the facts for these readers and the homeowners surrounding the gas station.

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