Nearly five years of groundwater contamination cleanup efforts were successful
Groundwater cleanup efforts surrounding two former gas stations in Great Falls, Va., was successfully completed, according to a final reported released by the Great Fall Citizens Assn. (GFCA). The association’s special committee on groundwater contamination has overseen cleanup efforts at the former Exxon and Shell service stations for the past five years.
The sites showed methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) in excess of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) threshold for MTBE in groundwater, 343 ppb, in 2014. Since DEQ officials directed Shell parent company Motiva Enterprises LLC to cleanup the contaminations, MTBE levels at the sites has reduced to 1% of DEQ’s limit, as reported by Inside Northern Virginia.
Groundwater contamination cleanup measures included cleaning approximately 8.5 million gal of groundwater and removing approximately 350 lb of MTBE by pumping the water through charcoal-filled canisters and releasing it at the surface, according to GFCA’s report. The groundwater contamination was of particular concern due to the proximity to private wells.
“Ours was not the worst, but it was pretty significant mainly because of all the private wells around,” said GFCA Committee Co-Chairman Glen Sjoblom. “Those were what was at risk.”
While DEQ has authorized an end to groundwater remediation efforts, parent company Motiva will continue sampling water quality at the former Shell.
“There are no private wells likely to have detectable MTBE in the future as a result of the gasoline leaks at these stations,” the report said.