Soil to be excavated at Lake Tahoe resort from 2011 gas leak
ZEPHYR COVE – On Monday, Sept. 12, work will begin to remove soil impacted by a 2011 underground fuel leak at Zephyr Cove Resort.
The U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit is working with resort owner ARAMARK Parks and Destinations to remove approximately 2,500 tons of contaminated soil. Roughly 15 trees were removed on a half-acre of the affected area, reported the U.S. Forest Service.
Clean soil will be brought in to fill the excavated area, and trees of the same species will be planted.
On June 27, 2011, ARAMARK reported a gasoline leak from an underground storage tank system to the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection. The leak was discovered when two fuels pumps were being replaced.
Soon after the leaking tanks were removed, and “the (gas) plume was fully delineated by extraction of numerous monitoring wells,” said Jonathan Cook-Fisher, special uses program manager at the U.S. Forest Service.
An air sparging well was also installed, which injects air directly into the groundwater, volatizing contaminants.
“Then with that soil vapor you can extract the contaminants through a soil vapor extraction system,” said Cook-Fisher, comparing the process to blowing bubbles in a drink with a straw.
“A lot of people have asked why we are just taking this soil excavation step now. Well, we’ve been doing the air sparging for years now. This is just the latest remediation step,” added Cook-Fisher.
Cook-Fisher said that after the soil excavation, the next step is “to be determined.”
“We will continue with monitoring wells and likely continue with air sparging,” he said. “Ongoing monitoring will likely continue for years to come.”
Cook-Fisher noted that it is still undetermined how much gas was leaked underground.
The remediation activity is expected to continue through October.