Scientists worried about buried tanks leaking gasoline in Florida's sandy soil

"Aquathin OP-ED Commentary"

     We have known of this sort of contamination for years. The evolution of public awareness is prompting publication of these horrendous statistics. There are three major regretful scenarios here:

1. Even though Florida and California are on track to fix the problem....the damage is done and will linger in soils and waters for decades.

2. We are only reading about the U.S. Do not think for one minute this is only happening here. Its occuring everywhere where motoring is part of life !

3. Here's a biggie---Do you think that it ever crossed the minds of a company with the sophistication to locate, drill and transport oil, and design super refineries as to how to store gasoline at the neighborhood gas stations? If it did not...shame on them. If it did and cost vs. safety won out...shame on them.

Scientists worried about buried tanks leaking gasoline in Florida's sandy soil

     ORLANDO, Fla. -- Buried storage tanks are leaking gasoline into 25,000 sites around the state, causing concern that drinking water may become contaminated, state officials said.  Florida's absorbent, sandy soil and residents' dependence on groundwater contribute to the concerns, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection said.

Public wells used by 17 million people are within a half-mile of leaking tanks.  "People don't realize when they are filling their cars with gas that they are handling a hazardous substance gasoline is explosive and it can cause cancer,'' said Michael Ashey, chief of the Bureau of Petroleum Storage Systems for the Florida environmental agency.

Florida ranks third after California and Texas in gasoline use, burning nearly 20 million gallons a day, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

About 22,000 of the leak sites are near gas stations and similar facilities, the department said.  Florida also has more leak sites than any other state except California, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said.

State officials are cleaning up more than 3,000 sites, and more than 10,000 sites are awaiting cleanup. The state will require double-walled petroleum-storage systems to replace older tanks by 2010.

The state spent $151 million last year to expedite the cleanups, but officials say they need more money to reduce the backlog.


Think Aquathin...AquathinK!!

Edited from Tech Bank 7/27/02