U.S. Water News Online
TUCSON, Ariz. -- After finding tainted groundwater near
city police and fire headquarters, the Arizona Department of
Environmental Quality has told Tucson to re-examine its removal of
five underground storage tanks more than a decade ago.
Assistant City Manager Karen Masbruch said the notice means the
department suspects the five storage tanks located between the police
and fire departments could be the source of the gasoline that
contaminated the groundwater with benzene.
"They suspect it may be coming from the old tanks and want us to
determine if that's true," Masbruch said, adding the state gave
clearance in 1993 to close the case after the tanks were removed.
The chemicals haven't leaked into the aquifer from which drinking
water is drawn, and officials said there is minimal chance it will
migrate there. They also don't know where the gasoline is coming from
or how long it has been there.
Benzene was found in two wells drilled in the area as the city
tested for contamination from a leak in the ventilation system of the
Tucson Convention Center. The city discovered as much as 380 times
the maximum level of benzene allowed by state and federal
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