Reclamation work resumes at former Clark gas station site in Marion

MARION – Reclamation work is continuing at the site of a former gas station on North Main Street in Marion.

Buckeye Elm Contracting of Worthington is cleaning up the property at 770 N. Main St. that formerly housed a Clark gas station for many years. The Marion County Land Reutilization Corp., the county land bank, owns the property. The land bank acquired the property on May 30, 2019, according to the Marion County Auditor’s website.

Phoenix Environmental owner Jeff Paetz and a crew from Envirocore, Inc. of Plain City were at the site on Monday as work resumed following a hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic. Phoenix Environmental is the consulting firm for the project.

The Envirocore crew installed monitoring wells and tested soil and groundwater at the site. Paetz said his company helped the land bank secure a $250,000 abandoned service station grant for the project from the Abandoned Gas Station Cleanup Grant Program.

“The (fuel) tanks are gone,” Paetz said. “They didn’t actually have what looked like a release (of fuel), but when we did the initial drilling we found there were some issues with the groundwater. Soil looks clean, but we do have the groundwater issue. … We’ll take soil and groundwater samples to determine how far it went and what we need to do to clean it up.

“Chances are we’ll do some modeling to look at our options and we may be doing some kind of in-ground chemical treatment. That’s a way to treat the groundwater and get it to safe levels.”

Paetz said none of the neighboring properties use well water, so the contaminants in the groundwater will not affect them. He said depending on the results of testing and how long it takes to remedy the issue, he hopes to have the project completed by the end of 2020.

“There’s a chance that additional funds might be needed through additional grants to get it cleaned up,” Paetz said. “We still have a healthy budget left, so we’ll see how it goes. … When we’re done, it’ll be a green, grassy field.”

Phoenix Environmental is a full-service environmental consulting firm based in Delaware, Paetz said.

“We work on old sites like this – gas stations, grant projects, brownfields,” Paetz said. “We do environmental assessments and clean ups.”

Phoenix Environmental is also reclaiming a former gas station property at 36 N. High St. in the Village of La Rue. The village was awarded a $150,000 grant in 2018 to conduct the project.

Paetz said Phoenix also completed a clean-up project at the former Fairfield Engineering site at 324 Barnhart St. in Marion.