Two Issaquah gas stations are on state cleanup list

November 20, 2008

By Jim Feehan

NEW — 10:30 a.m. November 20, 2008

The state Department of Ecology and Shell Oil Co. have signed an agreement to clean up contamination at 83 current and former gas stations in Western Washington.

Two of those stations are in Issaquah — one near City Hall and the other at the intersection of Front Street and Gilman Boulevard.

Older gas stations used steel underground tanks and piping, which corroded over time and frequently leaked. A substantial number of fueling stations built before 1998 have been found to have leaking underground tanks. Gas stations today — and since 1998 — must meet standards that safeguard against corrosion and leaks, maintain leak-detection systems, and undergo regular inspections by the department.

Dave Ridley, who manages the two Issaquah Shell stations on the list, said the gas station at the intersection at Front and Sunset Way opened in 1962 as a Gull gas station.

“The Department of Ecology has a listing of thousands of contaminated sites in Western Washington, of which several are leaking underground storage tanks, or LUST, as we in government like to use acronyms,” said Larry Altose, a department spokesman. “We appreciate Shell’s willingness to work with us on this.”

In the past, the department has worked with gas station owners on a piecemeal basis to encourage cleaning up contaminated sites.

A $200,000 grant from the federal Environmental Protection Agency will fund the department’s first-year implementation costs. Shell agrees to accelerate the study and cleanup as needed at the sites. The department’s Northwest Regional Office in Bellevue will coordinate the cleanup process with Shell, Altose said.

Shell will place the sites into the department’s Voluntary Cleanup Program, which enables owners of contaminated sites to meet state cleanup standards independently and receive technical guidance from the department during the process, Altose said.

Participants in the program pay fees to the department to cover the costs for guidance and review. The voluntary cleanup program sites must meet the same cleanup standards as properties formally managed by the department under the state’s cleanup law, the Model Toxics Control Act, created by a 1989 voter initiative.

“Shell is excited to be working with Ecology and the EPA on this Voluntary Cleanup Program,” Kevin Autin, general manager for retail for Shell Oil Products US, said in a statement. “We value the communities where we live and work and are committed to meeting environmental standards.”

Reach Reporter Jim Feehan at 392-6434, ext. 239, or jfeehan@isspress.com.

 

On the Web

See a map and list of site addresses, and target cleanup dates, at

www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/tcp/cleanup.html.

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