Underground tanks will be removed in region

Underground tanks will be removed in region Gov. Janklow's Spruce Up Project will remove threats of ground water pollution by digging up abandoned underground storage tanks at nine different sites in the cities of Irene, Yankton, Wakonda,Volin, and Lesterville. After the owners of the tanks signed up, the state grouped the tank sites by location, and asked private excavation contractors to bid to remove the tanks. Bakkedahl Excavators out of Flandreau is the contractor for these tank removals and is scheduled to begin work next week.

"A priority for the Spruce Up South Dakota project is to remove abandoned underground storage tanks," said Janklow. "Removing these abandoned tanks that corrode and leak over time will protect our ground water resources for generations to come."

Before the tanks are dug up, any fuels and contaminated water in the tanks will be pumped out, and any explosive vapors left in the tanks will be dissipated. After the tanks are removed, the tank excavation holes will be backfilled with clean material, and risk-based environmental assessments will be done to determine if any further cleanup is necessary.

Janklow introduced Senate Bill 197 during the 2000 Legislative session to allow the state to remove the tanks and hydrocarbon contamination. The bill authorizes the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to remove eligible abandoned underground tanks statewide and authorizes the state Petroleum Release Compensation Fund in the Department of Commerce and regulation to fund the tank removals and cleanups. The 2000 Legislature strongly supported the bill, and it became effective July 1.

Owners of another 300 sites having old abandoned underground storage tanks have signed up to have their tanks removed. People who have old abandoned petroleum tanks on their property and want those tanks removed should visit the Spruce Up website at www.spruceupsd.com or contact Kristi Honeywell with the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources by phone at 1-800-GET-DENR (438-3367) or e-mail at tankyank@state.

sd.us or fax at 605-773-6035.

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