CHARLEROI – Borough officials are still waiting for the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to come up for a solution for a gas odor that is affecting several residences in the vicinity of McKean and Prospect avenues and First Street.
Mayor Ed Bryner and Fire Chief Robert Whiten Jr. told council members Wednesday that they met with a representative from the DEP, but the agency has not yet indicated what the borough should do next.
However, Whiten noted that Washington County Emergency Management planned to issue an order Thursday against Gulf J&G Service Station, a McKean Avenue business that has been identified as the source of the odor.
“Gulf J&G Service Station will have to remediate the soil and ground water around the tank and provide temporary ventilation for the sewer system until the problem is fixed,” Whiten said.
The DEP sent a notice of violation to the station on Oct. 30, alleging unlawful conduct after 1,000 gallons of gasoline leaked last month from its underground storage tank.
The agency also accused the station of failure to ensure releases do not occur, constituting a public nuisance after the spill sent fumes into a number of buildings, DEP spokeswoman Lauren Fraley said.
When several council members asked Wednesday why DEP hasn’t shut down the gas station, Whiten said the agency told him it was up to the fire department to handle the situation.
However, Whiten said he would rather err on the side of caution.
“I could go down and order it closed but what if there’s the slim chance that it wasn’t their problem? I’m afraid they could come back and say we cost them $100,000 for lost business and that they’re suing the fire department. Ron Sicchitano from Emergency Management Operations said not to get involved. This is a DEP problem and it’s up to them to make a decision to shut anything down,” Whiten said.
Residents who have concerns about the gas odor are urged to contact state Sen. Camera Bartolotta, said Whiten.
In other business, Whiten said the Red Cross has provided the borough with free smoke alarms. The borough will install the alarms for no charge, but homeowners must first complete paperwork at the borough building to qualify.