West Columbus Gas Station Investigated for Fuel Leak
Updated: Monday, February 11 2013, 08:20 PM EST
COLUMBUS -- Neighbors say operators of a West Side gas station should be fined after environmental protection agents found that 10 to 100 gallons of diesel fuel leaked into the business's storm drain and into Dry Run Creek.
Several city crews responded to the Pilot Flying J at Wilson and Interchange Roads Monday to determine if Columbus drains were affected by the leak last week.
Workers placed a camera in the city drains and concluded they were not affected, but they say the incident could still breech an agreement the company made several years ago.
According to city officials, Pilot Flying J agreed to clean their catch basins regularly and remove fuel at least once a week. Any violations of that agreement could lead to fines.
An EPA agent showed ABC 6/FOX 28 Friday that regular maintenance at one catch basin was not being conducted properly, which may have led to the leak. The station's management kicked a news crew off the property on the same day.
Neighbor Don Douglas was disturbed by the managers' response.
"You're not even supposed to breath that stuff when you're filling your tanks," Douglas said. "I think they should be fined."
According to EPA Ohio, the latest incident is the 4th fuel leak at Pilot Flying J over the last 2 years. In 2010, 25 Pilot stations around Ohio, including the location on Wilson Road, made an agreement with the attorney general’s office after repeated spills and other environmental infractions were discovered. The company was fined $100,000 at the time, and agreed to pay $500 a day for any reoccurring violation.
EPA Ohio will contact the attorney general’s office to report the findings of its investigation, and to determine if a reoccurring violation occurred. City officials will determine by the end of the week what punitive action, if any, will be taken.
Pilot Flying J issued a statement saying its representatives are monitoring the situation closely, and will follow all procedures to make sure the public, as well as their customers and employees, are safe.
Reporter: Lisa Rantala
Web Producer: Ken Hines