Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Ely’s Holiday station reopens after major gasoline leak

Keith Vandervort
Posted 6/13/18

ELY – The Holiday gas station here is completely open for business again as fuel spill cleanup procedures continued this week.

“We are pumping both unleaded and diesel fuels again,” said Ely …

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Ely’s Holiday station reopens after major gasoline leak

Posted

ELY – The Holiday gas station here is completely open for business again as fuel spill cleanup procedures continued this week.

“We are pumping both unleaded and diesel fuels again,” said Ely Holiday store manager Delby Seliga last Thursday. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency recertified the fuel pumps last Wednesday. Fuel sales were suspended for about 10 days, while the store itself remained open.

The MPCA determined that approximately 4,844 gallons of fuel leaked from a tank and pipe system at the Holiday Station, beginning in the early hours of May 28.Ely Mayor Chuck Novak,continues as the public information officer for the incident. “After the close of business on Sunday (May 27), something failed where a pump turned on and nobody was pumping gas,” he said.

What was first thought to be a minor spill resulted in fuel leaking into the city’s storm and sanitary sewers. Some fuel made its way to Miner’s Lake The gas that was leaking was being pumped directly into the ground around the tanks, Novak explained, and when the area was saturated, some flowed into the city’s storm sewer system.

“All in all, we came out much better than we anticipated at first,” Novak said last Thursday. “There were never any explosion dangers to the public. It never got that volatile.”

Ely Clerk-Treasurer said this week that the venting of fuel vapors continues. “I don’t know how long that will remain,” he said. “I should have cost figures ready to present to the City Council later this month. The big costs will be for the Fire Departments’ time and equipment.”

Cleanup crews and construction workers drilled holes into the ground at the leak site and extracted about 1,000 gallons of a mixture of water and gas.

Late last week, cleanup procedures continued at the Holiday station. Contaminated ground around the tank was removed and hauled away and clean gravel was put in place to replace it.

Holiday Manager Seliga said that the store’s pumps were slated for replacement before the incident. “We will be putting in new pumps sooner than planned,” she said.

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