CHAPEL HILL – The State Department of Environment and Natural Resources said Thursday that estimates show 3,144 gallons of product were leaked as a result of the August gasoline spill at the Family Fare BP on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Danny Smith, Regional Supervisor for the DENR: Division of Water Quality, said the two responsible parties named in connection with the leak into Crow Branch Creek have responded to the state’s investigation inquiry in a joint response.
Marvin Barnes, of M.M. Fowler, the company which owns the gas station, and William Bishop, of the construction company that was doing renovation at the time of the incident, were cited as a result of the leak.
The two parties could face five state violations and fines up to $25,000.
“Currently what we are doing is assessing the factors and continuing to review the report and the details of it,” Smith said. “Then this office will make a recommendation to our central office about whether or not to pursue civil penalties.”
Smith said their response indicated that 94 percent of the product that was leaked was recovered in clean-up efforts. He said his office will decide if citations will be issued over the next two to three weeks.
Bishop Construction Company was doing renovation work at the BP just before the time of the leak. Sometime in the early morning hours of August 2, falling concrete punctured one of the fiberglass gasoline tanks. Product escaped from a sump pump connected to a storm drain, which then flowed directly into Crow Branch Creek, a feeder of Booker Creek and Eastwood Lake.
Despite the ongoing investigation, construction is again underway at the BP.
Mark Powers, DENR’s Underground Storage Tank Supervisor, said a gasoline tank is being installed at the site.
“On our part, we’ve been paying attention to it to make sure that the responsible party is doing what they are supposed to to clean up the release,” Powers said.
Powers said the gas station was able to proceed with construction once the contaminated soil near the site of the leak was removed.
‘As long as enough soil is removed and they can meet all the other normal requirements for installing the system, there’s nothing in the law that I am aware of that would prohibit them from moving forward with it,” Powers said.
Inspectors have been on-site monitoring the construction work, Powers explained. DENR also asked the gas station to install a ground water monitoring well to track whether the groundwater was impacted enough to cause a future threat to wildlife.