Amount of gas leaked at Steamboat station still unknown
August 20, 2011
Steamboat Springs — The amount of gasoline that leaked from a pump at Western Convenience still hasn't been determined, said Zach Hope, an environmental specialist for the Colorado Division of Oil and Public Safety.
"When inventory records are reviewed, which is usually done on a monthly basis, we'll have a better idea," he said.
The leak was suspected Aug. 5 when a pump wasn't working properly and subsequently shut off. City of Steamboat Springs and Routt County officials were notified immediately and began mitigation efforts, including clearing gasoline vapors from storm and sanitary sewer lines.
Western Convenience also enlisted Fort Collins-based Colorado Groundwater Resource Services to detect, fix and clean up the leak. Randy Price, the company's vice president of operations, said the leak was detected in a steel line connecting the gas tank to the pump that failed because of wear.
Sharon Petty, Western Slope district manager for Western Convenience, said as soon as the leak was suspected, the company contacted the environmental firm.
Hope said Western Convenience has done what the state requires after a gasoline leak. He said the company is cooperating and in compliance. He added that the station at Hilltop and U.S. Highway 40 has no previous violations.
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Hope said crews are drilling more monitoring wells and investigating nearby utilities to determine where affected groundwater traveled.
Trace amounts of contaminants that don't exceed acceptable state standards were found to have entered the Yampa from a storm sewer drain, Hope said. But he said Steamboat's drinking water wasn't affected by the leak.
Routt County Office of Environmental Health Director Mike Zopf said the county is monitoring progress of the cleanup.
Hope said there's no timetable for mitigating the leak.
"Sometimes they're cleaned up in a very short period of time and we're out of there," he said. "Sometimes it takes years in accordance with our regulations. All points of exposure have to be protected."
Hope said the station would be monitored for a year to make sure the leak was fixed.
— To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or email jweinstein@SteamboatToday.com