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Gas stations feel deadline pressure

Andy Bourelle

Oct. 15 is the Lake Tahoe Basin deadline for excavation, and because of that requirement the date is an even more important deadline for many gas stations.

Because of federal and state laws enacted 10 years ago, all gas stations must be upgraded with systems better equipped with keeping underground storage tanks from leaking.

Because of the excavation deadline in Lake Tahoe, the December deadline essentially becomes an Oct. 15 deadline.

Although gas stations have had 10 years to comply with requirements, some have waited until the last minute, said Ginger Huber, Lake Tahoe division manager for El Dorado County Environmental Management.

The Shell stations at the “Y” and in Stateline are currently completing work, as well as South Lake Tahoe’s USA Gas Station. The Swiss Mart on Emerald Bay Road and the El Dorado County Department of Transportation will be upgrading their systems, also. Besides replacing underground storage tanks, other local stations also need to comply with other upgrading regulations.

Huber said the county can require tanks to be emptied and facilities closed if they are not in compliance with the regulations.

Stations that have completed the upgrades receive certificates of completion, and tags are placed on the fill spouts of each tank. After Dec. 22, new gasoline products cannot be put into tanks without the tags.

Some upgrades can be completed after Oct. 15, Huber said, but only if they do not require excavation.

If a station has not completed excavation by the date, they will essentially have to shut down until next year’s construction season, Huber said.

Tahoe Daily Tribune E-mail: tribune@tahoe.com

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