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Cleanup begins at contaminated county-owned Greig site

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GREIG — Cleanup on a Lewis County-owned former gas station property at 5223 Greig Road began Monday, with initial samples indicating no contamination.

“The tanks came out with no problems,” County Manager Elizabeth Swearingin said. Officials and the cleanup crew were optimistic as Monday’s removal of four tanks passed the sniff test.

“So far, so good,” said Derk T. Hudson, geologist at Plumley Engineering, as he collected soil samples for testing Tuesday morning. No vapor was evident during the tank removal. “Field instruments don’t indicate any vapor at all,” he said.

A short time later, however, as soil was unearthed for testing, contamination was clear. Gray soil was found about six feet below the surface.

The two larger tanks, 3,000 and 4,000 gallons each, used to hold gasoline. A 1,000-gallon tank held kerosene and a 550-gallon tank contained oil.

Apparently the smallest tank had leaked, as gray soil is usually associated with fuel oil.

The county is now responsible for cleanup after foreclosing on the property for delinquent taxes. Yet the contamination wasn’t all bad news. “Fuel oil doesn’t travel much,” Mr. Hudson said. “It’s sticky.” The gray soil was confined to a small area.

Patrick Paragon, of Paragon Environmental Construction, used an excavator to remove contamination from the ground and pile it on plastic nearby. The soil will be analyzed to determine how it should be disposed.

A state Department of Environmental Conservation official watched as the contaminated soil was removed.

The four tanks were cleaned and sent as scrap. No further action is expected on the property.

County officials approved roughly $20,000 to be spent for the cleanup, anticipating some further costs may arise if contamination was found. Additional costs for Tuesday’s discovery should be limited to further testing and disposal of the gray soil.

County officials are finalizing a purchase offer on the property with David J. Kogut, who rented the property from Richard Dinardi prior to the foreclosure.

Mr. Kogut operates a bottle-and-can redemption center at the location.

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