8,000 Gallons of fuel leaked
An estimated 8,000 gallons of fuel leaked from a recently removed underground fuel tank at the Crown Station in Robbinsville in August 2016, and petroleum is still contaminating the creek behind the gas station.
That estimate appeared in an Aug. 29, 2017 certified letter to Crown Station owners Dirk and David Cody.
North Carolina Water Resources Environmental Quality (WREQ) officials have asked the Codys for a “detailed response assessing the cause of the petroleum release” and “to provide a detailed narrative and supporting documentation” to show how the Cody’s arrived at the 8,000-gallon estimates.
Tuesday, Dirk Cody said that he provided the requested information on a spreadsheet more than a year ago. “It’s either right or close,” he said.
WREQ officials also want documentation showing the duration of the fuel release.
And they want the Codys to replace “Approximately 300 feet of hard boom” and multiple absorbent socks were placed in Tallulah Creek to collect petroleum product.
“You will be required to replace the hard boom so that it extends across the entire width of the contaminant plume,” wrote Brett Laverty of the Water Quality Regional Operations Asheville office. “You will also be required to deploy and maintain the absorbent socks and periodically reposition the hard boom after storm events.”
Cody says he’ll gladly comply, but he was led to believe the booms were no longer needed. “I’m dealing two difference agencies. One felt we didn’t need the booms. With the other, while it’s not an immediate issue, they want to mitigate product that might appear when the water table raises or lowers.”
At least 2,600 gallons of petroleum product have been extracted from the soil between the Crown Station and Tallulah Creek.
“The results of water quality analyses for surface water continue to indicate exceedances of the applicable stream standard related to the release,” said G. Landon Davidson, regional supervisor, Asheville Regional Office Water Quality Regional Operations Section.
Cody responded, “There’s only been two days in the last year that the water was not fit for human consumption.”
All five of the Crown’s underground tanks were removed and replaced with new, above-ground tanks in August.
The state continues to monitor stream water quality related to the release, in addition to requiring Cody to monitor water quality impacts to the stream.
A Graham County Health Dept. advisory prohibiting swimming remains in effect.
Davidson said the North Carolina Division of Water Regulation “is active in assisting the responsible party with exploring options related to a planned groundwater remediation system to be installed at the site.”
The Cody are required to respond by Sept. 29.