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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Removal of storage tanks should be left to professional

  • Phelps County could use its own forces to remove underground storage tanks, but one county commissioner thought a professional may be better at doing so.
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  • Phelps County could use its own forces to remove underground storage tanks, but one county commissioner thought a professional may be better at doing so.
    During the July 17 county commission meeting, District Two Commissioner Gary Hicks updated the other two commissioners on the status of removing two underground storage tanks at the county highway department property on Fairgrounds Road in Rolla.
    Most of the diesel fuel in the tanks has been pumped out of them. Hicks said he has talked with Travis Doll, with Gredell Engineering Services of Rolla, who told Hicks that the firm can do a preliminary site evaluation for under the amount required for the commission to seek bids.
    Hicks said Gredell can take three to four samples in the area where the tanks are to look for contamination.
    Then, for tanks taken out of use for more than 12 months, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) requires a larger site assessment and that 12-month period starts the day the fuel in the tanks is pumped out.
    Hicks said to remove the tanks, the commission will likely have to seek requests for qualifications from an engineer, who will come up with a plan to remove the tanks.
    Hicks said Doll told him that the county could use its own forces to remove the tanks, but he thought it would be more beneficial to have a professional firm do that work. “it’s not that we’re not capable,” Hicks added.
    In a related note, the commission learned July 17 that its insurance on the unused storage tanks has been extended for five years. That insurance could help in case the soil in the area is contaminated.
    Commissioners are looking at removing the tanks, which failed an inspection in the spring.
    While commissioners do not believe the tanks are leaking, as they are tested daily, the tanks are about seven years past their warranty date and may be rusty.
    After the underground tanks are removed, new above-ground tanks with spill protection would need to be installed.
    The existing underground tanks were placed underground in the late 1980s.
    Commissioners have said that removing the tanks would bring the county one step closer to relocating the highway department facility and make that property on Fairgrounds Road more attractive to prospective buyers.
    In other business
    Also at the July 17 commission meeting, Hicks said he talked with Rob Conaway, with Archer-Elgin Engineering of Rolla, about engineering work being done to replace a bridge on County Road 7050, west of Rolla, that failed a year ago. Hicks said he was told by Conaway that different areas along Little Beaver Creek, which the bridge crosses, are being surveyed to look for potential new locations for a bridge.

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