Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Two-Way Street: Brownfield Project Could Benefit Duncan, Classic Car Enthusiast

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Two-Way Street: Brownfield Project Could Benefit Duncan, Classic Car Enthusiast

Article excerpt

DUNCAN - When Sean Hurley bought an old gas station in downtown Duncan, he couldn't see the potential complications that would come with the property. He wants to restore the old filling station and use the property as a gathering place for classic car enthusiasts.

"Instead of driving by and seeing an eyesore, it would be nice to have something to help revive downtown," Hurley said.

He later discovered the property had underground contamination from old leaking pipes. However, he has received help from Oklahoma Corporation Commission staff members who manage the agency's brownfield program. Now he can spend his money on restoring the aging building, rather than on removing old fuel tanks.

As a child, Hurley walked by the old gas station on his way to school. He said he always thought it was a cool building. When he had the opportunity to buy the property a few years ago, he jumped at the chance. The owner of Hurley's Creative Tile said his business as a general contractor has been good, so he wants to spend his money on the restoration project. He needs to repair the roof, replace glass panels in the old garage door and rewire the building.

He said he's glad the OCC can pay to remediate the tanks, because he wouldn't have the money to clean up the old infrastructure and refurbish the property.

Madeline Dillner works on brownfield projects at the OCC. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency classifies properties with pollution that must be cleaned up before development can continue as brownfields. Dillner said the OCC's Petroleum Storage Tank Division initially looked at the property because pipes from the fuel tanks leaked chemicals into the ground.

In 2013, the EPA selected the property as part of its assessment program and covered the cost to drill monitoring wells to ensure pollution hadn't spread. Dillner said she's still studying the new data and comparing it to the original spill data to determine if the pollution is either gone or not a threat to people working in the building.

The brownfield project money will cover the cost to remove three of the four tanks and fill the fourth with concrete. One tank is directly below a beam that supports the gas station's canopy, so it won't be removed. …

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