No date set for gas station’s reopening 

Petro-Canada remediation efforts continue into November

By Andrew Mitchell

After shutting off the pumps on Sept. 5, work has been progressing on the Petro-Canada location in Creekside. The building was torn down this past week and the tanks have been excavated and removed.

According to Allyson Zarowny, Petro-Canada’s communications advisor for Western Canada, the excavation will continue for the next five weeks, into November. The site will be remediated in the process as remaining fuel from an underground leak detected in 1999 is trucked away and disposed of safely.

Remediation has been underway since 2001 using a process called multi-phase vacuum extraction, which involves sucking up groundwater from the area of the gas plume and using an air sparging system to safely remove the hydrocarbons. While that system is effective and less invasive, it’s also slow — it was expected to be completed by late 2006, but could take years longer.

The problem with waiting for the sparging system is that it also delays a scheduled realignment of Whistler Creek, which also delayed the Franz’s Trail development and other projects in the area.

Given the new Intrawest development just down the road and the need to realign the creek, Petro-Canada decided to tear down the existing station, dig up the contaminated soil, and rebuild on the site.

“The reason we initiated this remediation now is so that the municipality can move forward with the creek relocation and urban pathway project,” said Zarowny. “We’re going to need to receive the environmental OK from different environmental agencies before the creek can be moved, and at that point we can move forward with our development plans. We have a landscaping plan sitting with the municipality which we will complete this spring.”

Zarowny says Petro-Canada does not have an opening date in mind, as development is contingent on getting environmental approvals and moving the creek. The company is also in negotiations to purchase land adjacent to the station, which she says will help determine what the replacement station will look like, and what services it can offer.

“The redevelopment and schedule is dependent on many things, but we will work with the town to make sure that the appropriate type of redevelopment occurs,” said Zarowny.

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