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U.S. EPA STARTS OIL SPILL CLEANUP ON RATTLESNAKE CREEK IN POWAY

 SAN FRANCISCO, June 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) today announced the start of a project to stop diesel fuel and gasoline from seeping into Rattlesnake Creek from leaking underground storage tanks formerly used by Quik Check Gas, 13123 Poway Rd., Poway, CA.
 "This ongoing oil spill is a threat to fish and wildlife and an odorous, potentially dangerous nuisance to citizens living, working, or playing near the creek," said Jeff Zelikson, U.S. EPA's regional director of hazardous waste management. "We're taking immediate measures to stop this air and water pollution."
 The leaking petroleum products migrated underground about 300 feet to seep into the creek just upstream from the grounds of an elementary school and a city park. The resulting odors have affected creekside residents, students and teachers at the school and workers in a nearby office building.
 The owner of Quik Check Gas, Eugene Chandler, has spent about $10,000 on stopgap cleanup measures and filed for bankruptcy. The cost of the full-scale cleanup planned by U.S. EPA is projected to be anywhere from $150,000 to $400,000.
 Over the next two weeks, U.S. EPA will construct a system to contain, extract, and treat petroleum-contaminated groundwater, and prevent further pollution of Rattlesnake Creek. The system will also eliminate petroleum odors in the surrounding community. Groundwater tests will be conducted to determine the extent of the underground plume of pollutants. If necessary, the underground tanks will be excavated and removed.
 Since 1980, U.S. EPA has completed over 2,700 emergency response actions. The emergency response program covers imminent threats to human health and the environment. These situations include acute, life-threatening hazardous substance spills, complex situations involving improper management of hazardous waste, and spills of petroleum and petroleum products that endanger human health, wildlife, and shorelines. The emergency response program is conducting this cleanup under the authority of the federal Oil Pollution Act of 1990.
 -0- 6/30/93
 /CONTACT: Dave Schmidt of U.S. EPA, 415-744-1578/


CO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ST: California IN: ENV SU: EXE

SG -- SF009 -- 7249 06/30/93 14:41 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 30, 1993
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