The owner of a Chapel Hill gas station and a contractor were cited this week by state officials for involvement in a gas spill that contaminated 1.6 miles of creeks and streams.
Danny Smith, the regional supervisor for the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, issued a notice of violation to the owner of a BP gas station at 1201 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and William Bishop, a contractor hired to do maintenance work at the station, after a submersible pump channeled gasoline into Chapel Hill creeks through a storm drain.
The contractor excavated a hole to install footings at the gas station that would extend the station’s awning. During this summer’s storms, the workers had to set up a submersible pump to pipe water out of the excavated areas.
But after a piece of concrete punctured the station’s nearby gas tank on Aug. 2, the submersible pump began to pipe gasoline into nearby waterways, said Ken Rhame, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency coordinator who helped with the spill’s cleanup.
The owner and contractor face up to $25,000 in penalties for violating state environmental regulations.