timberland calderbrook boots Few gas stations affected
A handful of convenience stores across the state have stopped selling gas since the beginning of the year because of the requirements of a state law, but some of those stores may reopen.
Many others have stopped selling gas for unrelated reasons, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
The rule, which requires double walled storage tanks for stores that sell gasoline, affected the Cumberland Farms sites in Fairlee and Ludlow, though both stores are expected to get new tanks this year; the Derby Jiffy Mart, which also plans a new tank this year; the Wooden Barrel Store Deli in Chittenden; and Park Mobil in Rutland City.
Bernie Hayes, who owns the Wooden Barrel, said he plans to continue operating the convenience store, but has no plans to sell gasoline again.
“We put (the tanks) in brand new in and they got a lifetime (of use) on and we run out, said Hayes, 77. doesn behoove us to re put them in because the profit margin isn enough. I don think we going to last long enough to see any benefit from it. said now they still have to find $20,000 to remove the tanks by the end of the year.
A call to Park Mobil was not returned Thursday.
The Lowell General Store stopped selling gas in September but the owners are planning a new tank this year. Handy Shell, in Burlington, has stopped selling gasoline, but has continued selling diesel fuel. The state has not been informed of plans to go back to selling gasoline.
In Bridport, Boise Citgo also stopped selling gasoline in September. An internet search for the store said it permanently closed and a call to the store resulted in a message that said the number was disconnected.
The Champlain Farms Gulf in Vergennes is also selling diesel but not gasoline. According to the state, the gas tank is in the process of being replaced, but the work has been delayed because of the winter.
Ted Unkles, coordinator of the Department of Environmental Conservation underground storage tank program, said installing a new tank that meets state regulations could cost as much as $200,000.
June Reilly, assistant coordinator for the program, pointed out that not every store that closing or discontinuing gas sales is doing so because of the tank replacement requirement.
She said only about 35 of the 900 stores monitored by the state already have double wall tanks because the profit margin is so small on gasoline sales.
“It takes a lot of gas sales to get your $200,000 back,” she said.
Unkles said the changes are the result of a Vermont law passed in 2013 that included a phased schedule for the replacement of single wall gasoline storage tanks.
“Vermont has required that any new (gasoline) tank going in the ground since September 1987 had to be double walled, he said. that means is that any single walled tank that still in the ground is more than 30 years old at this point.”
The first deadline in the law, which required the replacement of single wall tanks that have single wall pressurized piping by January 2016, considered the highest risk for leaks, only affected two facilities with waste oil tanks.
The deadline that came at the beginning of this year required replacement of single wall tanks known as “combination tanks” with either double wall pressurized piping or single wall suction piping.
Unkles said about a dozen sites replaced their tanks since the law was passed in 2013, leaving only the eight sites affected.
The double wall tanks are safer, in part, because of the space between the walls. If the exterior wall is damaged, groundwater would be trapped in that inner space and nor reach the gasoline. If the interior wall is compromised, the gasoline would be trapped in the inner space and not reach the water.
The 1987 Vermont regulations were based on some federal legislation from around the same period but Unkles said the Vermont Legislature took a much more proactive stance than the federal minimum.