The public has until June 11 to submit comments on a cleanup plan for the oil-contaminated site known as the Black Tank Property in Spokane’s Hillyard neighborhood.
The site, 3202 E. Wellesley Ave., once had a large, black above-ground tank that stored petroleum products, including diesel and a heavy oil known as bunker-C. The tank was built in 1910 and used until 1988 to support railroad operations.
The BNSF Railway Co., which owns the site, removed the tank in 2006, along with some contaminated soil. But in 2008, the company discovered petroleum products in a monitoring well. Cleanup efforts have been underway since then, complicating efforts to build the North Spokane Corridor.
The site is above a portion of the Spokane Valley-Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer. The state Department of Ecology says a roughly 7-acre plume of oil sits on groundwater about 170 feet beneath the surface, though it hasn’t mixed with the water and drinking supplies are considered safe. BNSF and Marathon Oil are legally responsible for the cleanup.
The cleanup plan and other documents can be found on the Ecology Department’s website. Print copies can be accessed at the agency’s regional office, 4601 N. Monroe St., and the Hillyard Public Library, 4005 N. Cook St. Comments can be submitted using the agency’s online form.
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