FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --Abandoned gas stations can be seen across the state and right here in the Valley. However, what's lurking underneath those businesses could cause real concerns for nearby residents.
A loud hum filled the busy corner of Fresno and Olive Tuesday morning. The sound was that of crews removing more than 4,000 gallons of gas, the same fuel that at one time kept Valley Gas in business. One nearby gas station owner was happy to see the change.
"It's good. They can take. They closed down a long time ago," said gas station owner Baldev Khela.
Valley Gas foreclosed in 2004, but what's underneath the business has caused concern.
"When fuel tanks corrode, and whatever is inside the tank can leak out into the surrounding soil and affect the groundwater," said Kenneth Dixon, EPA Underground Storage Tanks Program.
EPA officials said that can happen when fuel sits in aging tanks. Authorities believe the Valley Gas tank has probably been there since the 1950's. Now the state and EPA are trying to clean up these underground storage tanks across California. Officials have found 38 sites in Fresno County. Nearby residents said they're glad to see the danger removed.
"I think they should. It's the environment," said Darrell Peron, Fresno.
The cleanup was funded by EPA grants. The Valley Gas clean up cost is anywhere from $8,0000 to $18,000. Officials said all of the fuel will be recycled or properly disposed of.
In addition to this site, crews said they'll be removing fuel from underground storage tanks in Downtown Fresno and in Biola this week.