Meyers Beacon saga continues
The director of El Dorado County Environmental Management came to Tahoe on Thursday and locked up gas pumps at the Meyers Beacon.
“We don’t know who the heck is responsible for the property,” said Director Jon Morgan. “Does it make any sense to have fuel dispensed at the site?”
The station has had a string of owners since a leaking gas line was discovered on the property in 1997. Fuel that leaked contained MTBE, an additive now banned at Lake Tahoe Basin.
Sarbjit “Sam” Kang, a South Lake Tahoe man, began operating the Meyers Beacon sometime before its owner, Joe Tveten, died in January 1999. Some point after Tveten died, Heller Financial gained ownership of the station while Kang continued to operate it.
Kang ran the station until County Environmental Management ordered it closed Feb. 19 because it had unpaid utility bills and could not provide water service.
On June 19, Kang purchased the property at public auction and presumably reopened the station. On Thursday, Morgan arrived at Meyers Beacon around 2 p.m. and found gasoline being sold.
Morgan meet with Kang and told him the station could not operate because it had no registered owner and did not have a permit to operate its four underground tanks.
“(Kang) was there when we closed it,” Morgan said. “He was very cooperative, locked the door and drove away.”
Kang did not return a call requesting comment Friday.
Even though the property was purchased at auction, the station doesn’t have a registered owner because its grant deed has not been filed at the El Dorado County Recorder’s Office, Morgan said.
Work to clean polluted groundwater near Meyers Beacon is ongoing. Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board, which has spent more than $1 million on its cleanup, had 400 cubic feet of contaminated soil removed from the site last year.
This summer, the agency is focusing money, nearly $500,000, and energy to stop the spread of plume of groundwater contaminated with the fuel additive from moving toward the Upper Truckee River and Lake Baron.