Email Link

Leaking storage tanks

Leaking storage tanks
(click for larger version)
03/03/2014 - Less than a penny per gallon. That's how much Michigan motorists pay at the pump to ensure the gas going into our tanks isn't leaking into the ground from underground storage tanks before filling up our own vehicles. That equates to about $50 million every year that is collected by the state to repair leaking underground storage tanks and the contamination associated with them.

Why then, nearly a quarter century after the 7/8-cent per gallon fee was introduced, are there as many leaking underground storage tank (LUST) sites that still need cleanup action in the Birmingham/Bloomfield area as there are gas stations operating in the community?

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) places the number of LUST sites in the state at more than 7,200, with as many as 300 new sites discovered each year. Locally, the DEQ has records on 32 active cases in the Birmingham/Bloomfield area where gasoline, diesel fuel or another type of petroleum-based fluid has been released from an underground storage tank.

"There are a lot of old releases," said Dennis Eagles, who oversees the LUST program under the DEQ's Remediation and Redevelopment Division. "When gas stations were more plentiful and had more individual owners, they operated on budgets that were fairly marginal, at best. When they had releases, they didn't have the funds to clean it up. A lot of those have gone orphan, or they don't have the money to address them."

Releases, or leaks, typically happen when an aging tank begins rusting or corroding, which then allows the fluid inside to leak out into the ground. Older metal tanks are typically replaced with fiberglass tanks. Federal regulations require gas stations to replace faulty tanks and to install monitoring systems that can detect leaks.

The property owner where an underground storage tank is located at the time of the release is typically responsible for any actions required to address the problem. Because the liability rests with whoever caused the release, as well as any party that may have contributed to the original or subsequent releases, the responsibility may lie with more than one party. Even when the appropriate party is identified, the cost associated with cleanup may inhibit taking action. Those actions may include removal of a tank and contaminated soil, as well as monitoring of potential contamination of soils and ground water. Clean-up costs can range from about $50,000 on the low end of the spectrum, to upwards of $1 million, with the average cost estimated near $400,000.

...continued on page 2
Pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Birmingham/Bloomfield LUST sites

The following is a list of active LUST sites in the Birmingham and Bloomfield area, including the site name, address, type of release (if known) and date of release.

Shell Station

34977 Woodward Ave, Birmingham, (used oil) 12/8/2008

Amoco Station

14 Mile, 880 W. 14 Mile, Birmingham, unknown

Woodlinc/Mich Ltd Partnership

1050 S. Old Woodward, Birmingham, (gas) 12/20/1996

Tiffany Florist

772-784 S. Old Woodward, Birmingham, (gas) 7/21/2008

Birmingham Public Schools

550 W. Merrill, Birmingham, 8/8/1990

Quarton Elementary

771 Chesterfield Ave, Birmingham, 6/29/1990

Derby Middle School

1100 Derby, Birmingham, 9/9/1988

Parking Lot (Dietz Corp)

985 E Maple Road, Birmingham, 10/14/1997

Former Gasoline Station

33801 Woodward, Birmingham, unknown

Jax Kar Wash #048

34745 Woodward, Birmingham, 10/27/2000

Douglas Cleaners

1794 W Maple Road, Birmingham, 1/17/1992


101 E 14 Mile Road, Birmingham, (gas) 6/13/05 (used oil) 11/10/2005

Amoco #579

35975 Woodward, Birmingham, (gas) 1/13/1989

Amoco Station #5696

2483 W Maple, Bloomfield Township, 5/26/1992

Budget Rent A Car

1000 E Maple, Birmingham, 6/1/1990

Budget Rent-a-car

1000 E Maple, Birmingham, 5/11,1990

Mobil SS #03-K9Q

1065 W Maple, Birmingham, (gas) 6/15/2004

Quarton Woodward Service

1599 S. Woodward, Birmingham, (gas) 5/19/1997

Northpointe Office Bldg.

2525 Telegraph, Bloomfield Township, 10/1/1987


3690 Maple Bloomfield Township, 6/12/1989; 7/12/1995/; 3/1/2000; 5/10/2000

Sunoco #0008-4079

42994 Woodward, Bloomfield Township, 8/16/1988

Academy Of The Sacred Heart

1250 Kensington, Bloomfield Township, 6/26/1995

Bloomfield Hills Country Club

350 W. Long Lake Road, Bloomfield Hills, 1/1/1985

Former Sunoco Station

2385 S. Telegraph, Bloomfield Township, 10/1/1987

Amoco SS #14209

2481 Telegraph, Bloomfield Township, (gas) 5/12/2004

Amoco Station #5643

6495 Telegraph, Bloomfield Township, 1/6/1992

Amoco Station #5643

6495 Telegraph Bloomfield Township, 3/20/2002

Amoco #5451

4009 S. Telegraph, Bloomfield Township, 8/3/1989

Cranbrook Educational Community

1000 Vaughan, Bloomfield Hills, 8/24/1990

Shell Station

39580 N Woodward, Bloomfield Hills, 12/19/1994; 8/29/1994; 12/2/2003

Elliot Cohen Property

1185 Eton Cross Road, Bloomfield Hills, 3/2/1995

Woodward Ave & Square Lake Road

2510 N. Woodward, Bloomfield Township, 4/12/2000

Source: Michigan Department of Environmental Quality


Comments ()