Gas station leak suspected as source of fumes GLEN BURNIE

August 06, 1993|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff Writer

A gasoline odor that forced two Glen Burnie families from their homes Wednesday morning may have been caused by a nearby gas station that has been in trouble with the state before, environmental officials said yesterday.

Uncle Marvin's Oasis, a combination gas station and convenience store in the 7700 block of Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd., has been ordered by the state to install three monitoring wells and a vapor-extraction system.

Michael Sullivan, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of the Environment, called those additions a temporary fix until inspectors can determine the source of the contamination.

"It could be a leaking tank or a leaking line," Mr. Sullivan said. "But there is gasoline underground. The company will have to develop a system to pump it out. In the interim, the extraction system should keep the vapors from being [a] problem."

Anne Arundel County firefighters were called to a home about a block from the gas station about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday by residents who complained of a strong odor. Fire officials asked residents to leave while they ventilated the home.

Firefighters then canvassed the Sun Valley neighborhood and found a home on Scott Avenue that had a high concentration of gasoline vapors. That home also was evacuated.

Two neighborhood schools were unaffected.

Capt. Gary Sheckells, a fire department spokesman, said fire investigators learned that the gas station had received a shipment of gasoline the night before. The investigators called in the Department of the Environment to help in the probe.

Mr. Sullivan said Uncle Marvin's Oasis was one of several companies and a dozen gas stations owned by Marvin Taylor that were targeted in a $1.3 million suit filed by the state in 1989.

When the suit was filed, Mr. Sullivan said the gas station on

Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard was called Big Red and was owned by Easton Petroleum, also owned by Mr. Taylor.

Problems included underground storage tanks that had been installed improperly and leaks at several sites.

Mr. Sullivan said the suit was settled when the companies agreed to build monitoring wells, make adjustments and pay the state $300,000, which goes into a fund to help pay for the cleanup. The spokesman said the gas station suspected of causing Wednesday's problem was named in the suit.

Mr. Taylor, reached at the Sun Valley gas station, first said the station was not the source of the gasoline, then declined to comment.

Captain Sheckells said the evacuated families returned to their homes about 1 p.m. No one was injured.

Firefighters remained in the neighborhood for most of the day, taking air samples.

They investigated the Cox Creek sewage treatment plant in Riviera Beach but found no contamination in air samples.

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