Thursday, November 29, 2012

Gas Station Contamination Leads to Demolition

By: Duane Craig

More than a dozen homes near Loch Raven Village, Md., are slated for demolition in the wake of petroleum contamination that first came to light back in 1987, according to the Essex-Middle River Patch. Apparently, a Hess gas station leaked gasoline that drained downhill, collected in the ground water and beneath homes where it caused vapor intrusion problems. The company settled with 17 of the property owners, however the details of the settlement weren’t released to the public.

One resident, however, who did not receive a buyout settlement, claims he still deals with an oil-covered sump pump in his basement and fumes down there that make it impossible to use the space for washing clothes. He said his property was excluded from the settlement because it was five feet outside the borders of the settlement area.

Previously, Hess had installed a system that removed the gasoline, and that treated the ground water beneath the homes. A separate system was also put into operation to deal with the soil vapors. Apparently though, those systems were either ineffective or more costly when compared with simply buying out the owners and demolishing the buildings. The system removing the gasoline and treating the ground water had been shut down in 2010.

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