Gas Station Oil Clean Up

Video and photographs were sent to the Colorado Department of Health, the Colorado Springs Stormwater
Department, and 11Call for Action by Ladonna Robertson.

She saw workers cleaning up oil spills at a gas station at Palmer Park and North Union Boulevard and was worried about the way they were doing it.

LaDonna says, "I actually saw them fill up the gas can and they were pouring the gasoline on the oil spill, using the shop broom to kind of mess it around, and then the other guy came and got a water hose and started spraying it down the street."

LaDonna says she was worried about the mixture of motor oil, gasoline, and water heading into the streets and possibly down the storm drain with the wind also a factor.

She says, "Overspray was another issue because it was coming towards us. That's why they make Dry Sweep for ... is to clean up hazardous material such as oil."

After's LaDonna's call, a city inspector visited the Palmer Park Service Center and its owner, Bob.

I also stopped by and asked how oil was cleaned up.

Bob told me, "You're the third person who has been over here and I don't have any more time to talk to you guys about that. The state called me and the city came out here. All that was wiped up with red rags and then we took soap and rinsed it off."

When I showed him the photographs, asking if he used soap or an absorbent material to soak up the mixture, he became upset.

Betty says, "I'm just asking questions." Bob says, "But this is getting ridiculous. Don't you guys have something better to do?" Betty answers, "Well, in Call For Action when people ask us to look into things, that's what we do." Bob responds, "I don't think that lady has enough to do herself. She needs to get involved in something more important."

Bob went on to say that he had been in business more than 50 years and never had a complaint before about oil spill clean ups.

The city tells me a stormwater inspector looked into it and found the mixture never reached the storm sewer system, so there was no violation of The Clean Water Act.

But a city inspector says he told Bob the way the oil was washed off was inproper and educated him about the proper way to do it.

LaDonna says she was just trying to protect the environment and all of us. The city says if you ever see questionable practices, don't be afraid to report them.

To report a hazardous waste spill to the city of Colorado Springs dial a member of the storm water team. The number to dial is (719) 385-5097.

To report a spill to the state see the link for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

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