Monday, October 31, 2011

Leaking Petroleum Tanks Still Haunt Austin

By: Duane Craig

Over the years, 700 petroleum storage tanks have leaked in Austin, according to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality statewide LPST listing of sites. Today, there are 22 that are still active and adding to Austin’s list of environmental issues, and several date back to the 1990s.

Water contamination from a leaking tank at 817 Howard Lane is still unresolved and has a list of correspondence related to various actions. This site was reported in 1990, and the TCEQ began action on it in 1992. Since then, it has been through the State Lead survey and was referred to a private contractor but was then referred back to the Petroleum Storage Tank Division’s Responsible Party Remediation section. The last activity reported in TCEQ database on this site was in December 2010. It is listed as being under a pre-assessment/release determination.

Another site reported in 1990 is at 301 San Marcos St., and it too has contaminated groundwater. It is currently in the monitoring stage and has an extensive list of actions that have been taken. Over the years, the TCEQ approved $15,000 for the property owner’s use in assessing the problem. Subsequent requests for money under the state’s program were not approved because there appeared to be commingling of other hazardous materials with the existing coal tar contamination beneath the site.

Other addresses with longtime unresolved leaking petroleum tanks include

  1.     525 West Ben White Blvd., 2915 East First and Caesar Chavez
  2.     1001 Bolm Road, 8805 North IH-35
  3.     1135 Airport Blvd. and Manor Road.

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