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Contaminated soil found at Goodrich bus facility

August 25, 2010 - Goodrich-After underground storage tanks at the school district's bus garage failed a Department of Environmental Quality test last month and were removed, a second issue with the tank area has been reported.

Approximately 2,000 cubic yards of oil-contaminated soil and about 1,000 gallons of petroleum-tainted water were detected at the site of the tanks when they were removed from the ground last week. The underground fuel storage tanks are located at the district bus garage on Erie Street in the village.

Randy Spiller of Oscar W. Larson Company, which is overseeing the project for the district, said the source of the contamination was limited to the area around the tanks.

"The new tank will go right in where the old tanks were—they will remove the soil right in the impacted area. Once that's completed we can move forward with installing the new tank." Spiller said the school purchased a 15,000 gallon fiberglass compartmentalized underground tank. The tank is divided into a 10,000 gallon section for diesel and a 5,000 gallon side for gasoline. The cost to the district is $125,042.

The initial DEQ report indicated that some of the fiberglass used to coat the inside had flaked off one of the tanks and a second tank was out of round. A third tank was still in good condition. In addition, Spiller said soil samples were taken around the tanks, along with core samples in the vicinity of the tanks and bus garage. The tanks, which were installed in the 1970s and had been lined with fiberglass about 16 years ago, were never tested for leaks. The process of coating the tanks with a spray-on liner of fiberglass or epoxy was used to comply with a 1998 mandate to meet federal standards for underground storage.

"The contamination appears to be many years old—nothing from the existing system," Spiller said.

District Superintendent John Fazer said the cost estimates range from $100,000 to $200,000 for the cleanup.

"It really depends on how far the cleanup goes," said Fazer. "Insurance companies are trying to determine when the release of fuel occurred that contaminated the ground. That will decide which insurance company will pay for the soil to be removed."

Fazer said there will be historical tests on the soil to determine when the contamination occurred.

"However, there is no indication the tanks or other plumbing leaked. The DEQ test failed because some of the fiberglass flaked off," he said.

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