News Releases from Region 09
U.S. EPA to Empty Fuel from Abandoned Underground Tanks at Former Gas Station in Fresno
SAN FRANCISCO - On Tuesday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will remove an estimated 4,400 gallons of fuel from three underground storage tanks (USTs) at a former gas station located in Fresno, Calif. The tanks' proximity to a residential neighborhood makes addressing this site a high priority. This is part of a statewide initiative focused on cleaning up underground storage tank sites, including 38 sites in Fresno County.
"Underground storage tanks pose a threat to groundwater and local communities," said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA's Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. "This initiative is a great example of how collaboration with local partners can make a difference in our neighborhoods."
The site, currently a foreclosed property, was operated by Valley Gas as a service station until 2004. The USTs used by the gas station ceased operating but remained in place. The tanks, made of single-walled steel, are especially susceptible to corrosion and leaking, and can contaminate shallow groundwater when left unmonitored. Once liquids are removed from each tank, U.S EPA contractors will also be sealing the tanks with a concrete plug to prevent leaks and illegal waste disposal. The fuel will be recycled or properly disposed by DeMenno/Kerdoon-the largest used oil-recycling facility in California.
In addition to Tuesday's work, EPA is performing similar activities at eight other sites in Fresno and Kern County found to have fuel still present. The work, completed over a two week period, is estimated to cost up to $102,000 and is being funded by a joint effort using EPA grants to the California State Water Board. U.S. EPA expects to visit another group of sites later in 2016.
Since November 2012, the U.S. EPA and the California State Water Resources Control Board have been working with local regulatory agencies to identify and assess tank sites that have been unaddressed in Fresno and throughout the state. To date, more than 340 abandoned sites have been identified and more than 174 underground storage tanks removed or closed, paving the way for redevelopment at 78 sites.
Due to the high clean-up costs, these sites have remained vacant for decades, lowering property values and creating blight in communities. Addressing these sites can cost anywhere from approximately $10,000 to $1.5 Million depending on contamination at the site. The U.S. EPA and the state will work together with property owners to assess and cleanup these sites, making them available for resale and reuse, bringing businesses and jobs back into the area.
**If interested in observing the tank pumping, please send an email to Soledad Calvino at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be sure to include your name, contact information and media affiliation.
For more information on Underground Storage Tanks, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/region9/waste/ust/lustcleanup.html
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