Thursday, November 15, 2007

Gunnison Gas Leak

State and Top Stop Officials Repond to Gunnison Gas Leak
November 15th, 2007 @ 6:03pm

Sam Penrod reporting

Top state officials traveled to Gunnison today after an Eyewitness News report last night raised serious concerns about a leak at an underground gas tank. Several Gunnison residents believe the leak is making them sick.

People here have been upset about two things: the slow pace of this cleanup and not knowing if they are at risk because of the fumes.

State officials left assurances here today that communication will improve, and the situation will get top priority.

"It's very serious, this is one of the largest gasoline leaks we've had in the state of Utah. It is not unprecedented, but it's very serious, and we think requires some pretty fast and extensive action," explained Rick Sprott, executive director of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality.

Officials from the state listened to Gunnison city leaders and residents at an emergency meeting this afternoon.

Top Stop executives also traveled to Gunnison to see the situation for themselves. A situation created by a leak of their underground tank. "We have been visiting homes and businesses, and the people are very friendly, and they are concerned as are we in getting things into a manageable situation. I think the city, the state, the contractors, the owners, we all need to communicate better, and today will make it possible for that to happen," Top Stop President Craig Larson said.

Neighbors and business owners were also able to raise their concerns about this leak of 19,000 gallons of gasoline, which has spread underground for the last three months.

In the last week the leak has forced three families to leave their homes. Tune in to Eyewitness News at 10 to hear from them and business owners about the progress they are hoping for after today's meeting.