Lander Maverik to Resume Selling Gasoline Following April Spill
Following an incident that left gasoline spilling into the Popo Agie River in Lander, a Maverik gas station there will begin selling gasoline again in the coming weeks.
About 2,700 gallons of gasoline leaked from underground storage tanks at the gas station from Feb. 22 - 27 after two safety devices failed. The scope of the leak wasn't known until gasoline reached the river in early April.
Maverik President and CEO Chuck Maggelet on Tuesday told the Lander City Council that the gas station will begin receiving gasoline deliveries in the coming weeks.
What gasoline didn't make it to the river and is still in the ground is being contained by a barrier on the river banks. A vacuum truck is periodically removing the gasoline that remains in the ground.
Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality Public Information Officer Keith Guille said that's in-line with the remediation plan.
Following the spill into the river, the DEQ issued a red tag order meaning the Lander Maverik could not accept gasoline deliveries nor could they sell gasoline. As a part of that order, Maverik completed a DEQ-approved work plan in which the company installed a system to equalize the amount of gasoline stored in the facility's two unleaded gasoline storage tanks.
Maverik additionally installed an electronic leak detector in with an audible and visual overfill alarm that can be clearly seen and heard by operators during fuel deliveries.
Maggelet said two "super reliable" systems failed, leading to the leak.
He added that a pump technician noticed an issue with the pump earlier in the month and that, at the time, Maverik employees thought that the leak was fixed. It wasn't until the leak "presented itself" in the form of gasoline leaking into the Popo Agie that anyone was aware of the problem.
The company was unaware of the amount of fuel leaked until early April. Maggelet said that type of loss can go unnoticed through bookkeeping.
"We're taking the right steps to remediate (the spill) and work backward to try to understand what happened," Maggelet told Lander council members Tuesday. "In April we found out we had a deficiency. We went back to take a look at what happened and we were able to ascertain we had a very rare and unfortunate circumstance where two pieces of equipment failed at the same time."
Lander City Councilor Chris Hulme said he is concerned that since "standards of 10 years ago" failed, residents can't be completely assured a similar spill won't happen again, even with today's safety standards.
Firefighters were called to scene on the afternoon of April 2 after a resident smelled gasoline coming from the river near the Maverik.
The next day, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality were on scene.