872597c84e4bf785846956cc60d10819There are times in life’s journey when we are traveling along just fine and all of a sudden … Oops!

This happened at the YMCA Camp on September 26, 1986 – The “Gas Spill”.

Let me back up. In September of 1946, the Standard Oil Company received a right-of-way easement to install a gasoline pipeline through the NE corner of the property. The easement was re-assigned to the American Oil Company in 1960. There were no incidents with the pipeline for the next 26 years, until the “oops” occurred.

In September of 1986, a landscape company was given permission by the YMCA to purchase and remove larger 10′ to 15′ spruce trees from the property for use in their business. The landscaper was shown where to dig the trees and was also shown the location of the pipeline. But, if you have ever been to a Christmas tree farm in search of the “perfect” live tree, you know that the one “over there” looks better and soon you are far from where you started.

Eventually, the landscaper found the better tree and dug one up right over the pipeline. As a result, he cut into the pipeline and created the gas spill. In all, 23,000 gallons of unleaded premium gasoline were released into the sandy soil before the line could be shut down!

The cleanup of the land lasted over the next several years. However, due to the technology used, the extraction of the gasoline was nearly 100% and cleaner soil was hauled in to replace the contaminated soil.

All in all, it was an unfortunately “Oops” but fortunately was remedied properly!


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