Not that I want to bash on Exxon or anything … actually, I’m taking issue with a notice sent to the franchise by Obrecht Properties, which manages the strip-mall. You may have read or seen about the gas leak at an Exxon station in Northern Baltimore County. Somehow, thousands of pounds of gasoline leaked out of an underground storage tank. That station, located at Jarrettsville Pike and Paper Mill/Sweet Air Roads, is directly across the road from the franchise.
Note in the article when it says the gas leak may have begun. Here, I’ll quote it for you:
…said records showed that the gasoline leak at the Exxon station near the intersection of Jarrettsville Pike and Paper Mill and Sweet Air roads, appeared to have begun Jan 12.
“It was pretty clear to MDE upon our review of the inventory records at the Exxon station that there was a period of time when you could see the station operating normally,” Meade said. “And then there was a date where problems started.”
Maryland Department of the Environment was notified of the leak February 16th — just over a month at the time they believed the leak to have begun.
How did the leak begin?
Meade said the leak appears to have begun after a contractor performed maintenance on an underground storage tank system. He said a contractor, believed to have been drilling a hole into the wall of the storage system’s sump, drilled a hole, about the diameter of a pencil, into an underground pipe.
So, a pencil-sized hole, leaking a total of 25,000 gallons, or, roughly 700 gallons per day from Jan. 12th until Feb. 16th. Sound about right?
Let me quote you from the Obrecht Properties Memo, dated 2/22/06, second paragraph:
“Please be advised we are required by the Maryland Department of The Environment (“MDE”) to have quarterly testing of the drinking water performed by a certified laboratory. The water was most recently tested on January 16, 2006; the results determined the water to be safe and in compliance with the MDE’s requirements, and feel there is no need to be alarmed at this time.”
Assuming the leak began on January 12th when MDE believes it did, and the water was tested by Obrecht last on January 16th, there was, what, twenty-eight hundred gallons of gasoline in the ground, a number that by the time the situation was discovered, would have increased nearly ten times. Sure the drinking water might’ve been okay on the 16th, but considering how much more gasoline leaked by the 16th of the next month, do you really think its proper to still say that the water is “safe and in compliance” regarding its status a month later?
C’mon, Obrecht. You didn’t cause this situation, I get that, but I sure as hell wouldn’t put out a memo in this situation telling people that everything was a-okay when in fact all the safety data I put in the memo was a MONTH OLD.