Mo. gas station cleaning up fuel leak

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

ST. LOUIS -- Cleanup continued Tuesday at a suburban St. Louis QuikTrip service station, where the Missouri Department of Natural Resources said more than 20,000 gallons of fuel leaked underground.

The leak was discovered Friday in the north St. Louis County town of Ferguson, though state officials believe it began earlier last week. Crews were trying to remove gasoline from the soil and from a waterway connected to Maline Creek, DNR spokesman Larry Archer said.

Potentially explosive levels of gasoline were present in the sewer system Monday, but action was taken to vent gas vapors, Archer said. Crews also placed absorbent materials in the waterway to remove gasoline from it.

"We are taking this one pretty seriously," Archer said. "It will be a while before it'll all be cleaned up."

State officials believe the leak was in a pump attached to underground storage tanks, and probably began Dec. 10 or Dec. 11.

The spill did not require evacuations and Archer said there were no reports that the gasoline caused the deaths of fish or other wildlife.

The station reopened Saturday. It wasn't clear how long cleanup would take.

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