Car wash will make way for shopping center |

Car wash will make way for shopping center

Gregory Crofton, Tahoe Daily Tribune

Demolition of an old gas station and car wash along Highway 50 may make way for an expanded shopping center at Ski Run Boulevard and Highway 50.

It will also allow the property owner to better treat land polluted by a leaking gasoline pump. It contaminated groundwater and soil with MTBE, a fuel additive banned at the Lake Tahoe Basin, and other gasoline-related chemicals.

Rudolph Gersick, 86, a Skyland resident, owns the property at 3668 Highway 50.

“We’re going to do some development later on the corner,” Gersick said. “We’re going to enlarge the center, but you have to talk to my son.”

William Edwards, Gersick’s son, is leading work on the property. He could not be reached for comment.

The leaking pump was discovered at the station in 1991, said Ginger Huber, Tahoe division manager at El Dorado County Environmental Management. Over the years, Gersick, who owns the shopping center next to the old station, has tried several different methods to clean up the mess.

With structures out of the way, cleanup is expected to go more smoothly.

“They excavated a lot of contaminated soil last year,” Huber said. “And they’re going to excavate more.”

For environmental tasks like this one, Lahontan takes charge of cleanup of contaminated water, while the county looks after polluted soil, said Richard Booth, associate engineering geologist at Lahontan.

“We’re requiring that groundwater quality be restored,” said Booth, who stressed that neither Lahontan nor the county required demolition of the structures at the site. “We won’t set a deadline until we see results of further work they conduct.”

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