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Petroleum leaks under investigation

Heather Chapin-Fowler • Dec 28, 2013 at 10:07 AM

The New London Mickey Mart underground storage tank has leaked a "significant" amount of gasoline under the property. How this release of gas will impact the health and safety of the surrounding area remains under investigation.

The release was reported on Dec. 26, 2012, the second at the property since the first one which occurred in May of 1998, according to Michael Duchesne, public information officer for the Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of State Fire Marshal's Reynoldsburg office.

The white trailer on the south side of the Mickey Mart station, on North Main Street, is being used to recover the product underground and at this point, officials don't know how long the recovery process will take.

As of Nov. 13, Flynn Environmental Inc., of North Canton, recovered approximately 1,451 gallons of gas. But, officials with the Bureau of Underground Storage Tanks and State Fire Marshal's office say it is "unknown" how much product has actually been lost.

Mick Coles, the contact for Coles Energy, of Milan, who is listed as the contact for the business, did not return calls to clarify how much gasoline has been delivered during the period when the tanks were leaking and how much could have been lost.

While officials believe the gas could contaminate the storm and sanitary sewers, they also believe the lost product could be contained to the tank cavity and the surrounding recovery walls, Duchesne said.

Coles Energy to date has not been fined nor has it had to pick up the bill for cleanup because "as of this date the facility is in compliance with all corrective actions regulations," Duchesne said.

Duchesne said doesn't anticipate Cole will be fined.

The gas station was allowed to remain open for business because the corrective measures took place shortly after the leak was discovered, Duchesne said.

While the problem appears to be under control, Duchesne said "further investigation and evaluation of the petroleum release is necessary to fully define the extent of the release."

"Based on current available information, the identified petroleum release has several potential exposure pathways that need to be evaluated to determine if there are any health and safety concerns. The report detailing some of these pathways is being compiled," Duchesne said.

Another release was reported by a now defunct petroleum dealer, Kelly Oil Co., owned by Norfolk Southern Railway Company, of Virginia. The site reportedly had a similar release in October 1988, according to Duschesne. Clean-up continues on that property, which is located just east of Mickey Mart.

While all "free product" has been removed from the Kelly Oil site, early next year a remedial plan is scheduled to resolve any possible threat to the "use of the groundwater as a drinking water source," Duschesne said.

The Kelly Oil site released gasoline, kerosene and diesel fuel and was also considered a "significant release," according to Duschesne. The site has been "under active remediation since the initial release approximately 25 years ago," Duschesne said.

As of December 2002, a total of 2,265 gallons "of free product" was recovered from the Kelly Oil site and no further free product has been reported at the site since 2002.

A Pennsylvania company, AECOM, was hired to clean up the Kelly Oil site.

Cole Energy owns and operates a number of Mickey Mart gas stations throughout the state, according to state records provided by the State Fire Marshal's Office.

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