DeKALB – Four underground fuel storage tanks at the Fas Mart Marathon gas station at 125 N. Annie Glidden Road will have to be removed because they failed a recent inspection conducted for the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office, records show.
The station hasn’t sold gas for more than a month after an April 10 inspection by a contractor working for the Fire Marshal’s Office found problems with the interior lining in the tanks, according to documents obtained from the state.
“Tanks failing to pass the lining inspection criteria will not be allowed to be touched up, repaired, totally reclined or put back into use and shall be placed out of service immediately and decommissioned,” reads the April 10 violation notice from the Fire Marshal’s Office.
The failed inspection gives the station 60 days to remove the defective tanks, but the process for cleaning the site to prepare for new tanks could take up to six months, said Fred Schneller, manager of the petroleum and chemical safety division for the Fire Marshal’s Office.
Schneller said the removal process includes the owner paying to have the tanks removed by a contractor. The soil at the site must be tested for contamination by an environmental consultant, and then new tanks can be installed.
“They’ll cut away the concrete on top of the tank, and then dig away from around them, hook them to a crane, lift them out of the ground, cut a hole in either end of them,” Schneller said. “Then the tanks will be hauled to a scrap yard.”
There’s no need for alarm, officials from the Fire Marshal’s Office said, as the tanks are not hazardous nor are they leaking, because they had to be emptied and cleaned before the inspection.
Gas station inspections are done every two years by the petroleum and chemical safety division of the Fire Marshal’s Office, Schneller said, but this particular inspection is completed every five years by outside contractors.
Schneller said Illinois law requires tanks to be replaced if their lining is found to be defective.
Documents also show that the station failed multiple additional inspections. The overfill prevention equipment was not functioning properly, the spill prevention mechanisms on the tanks needed to be cleaned and the annual leak detection certification had not been completed as required.
But Schneller said those violations became moot once the tank inspection test showed the tanks need to be dug out and replaced.