The Shorewood Citgo gas station state and fire officials have shut down — in light of a gasoline leak in the village’s sewer system — has a history of contamination problems stretching back to 1991, Today's TMJ4 reports.
The owner of the station at 1602 E. Capitol Dr., Syed Rizvi of Glendale, hired Benchmark Environmental Services in 2008 to examine the property and inspection results showed a 1991 fuel leak had contaminated soil near East Capitol Drive and North Newhall Street.
The owner of Benchmark, an Illinois-based environmental engineering firm, told the news station that Rizvi ignored the results of the inspection, and left unaddressed, the contamination likely made its way into Shorewood's sewer system via groundwater and into resident's basements.
The source of the gasoline leak has puzzled fire officials since Wednesday morning when firefighters and Shorewood police responded to a report of a gas leak in an apartment basement near East Capitol Drive and North Wilson Drive. The report forced an evacuation of two apartment buildings for several hours.
Fire officials say a significant presence of petroleum was found Friday morning when crews drilled 8- to 10-feet deep in front of Shorewood's Citgo gas station and collected soil samples.
State Department of Natural Resources officials are expected in Shorewood soon, to start an investigation into who's responsible for the spill. After a party is designated, as responsible, cleanup efforts will follow, North Shore Fire Department Chief Robert Whitaker said.
When they arrive, state DNR officials will set up a venting mechanism to help prevent gasoline from further seeping into sewers.
The gas station was closed Wednesday night, when sanitary sewer samples prompted fire officials to shut down its pumping operations. State officials have since stepped in, red-taping Citgo’s pumps and restricting the sell of fuel.
Meanwhile, crews plan to continue sanitary sewer system ventilation and flushing efforts through the weekend.
The gasoline stench poses no health danger, officials say, but if residents discover the odor in their home they should flush their water traps with water. If that doesn't work, residents are asked to call 911 and leave their homes.