Gas station excavation

A Bay City man is demanding answers as he’s been dealing with a pungent gasoline odor for weeks.

Residents said the smell can get so bad, they can practically taste it.

“The awful smell, the taste in my mouth,” said Michael Hadd.

Hadd lives a few blocks away from an old gas station that was demolished years ago. Crews have been working at the site, located at Bangor Street and Marquette Avenue, for the last couple of weeks.

Hadd said there’s been a strong smell of gas ever since.

“Makes it hard because now it’s starting to get a little nice and you don’t even want to go outside,” Hadd said.

Hadd said he called TV5 to ask the tough questions and get answers.

“I know that you guys handle things and take care of stuff. You know, I’m real familiar with asking the tough questions,” Hadd said.

As TV5 investigated, we found there are no underground gas tanks at the site and the smell of gas is coming from the dirt.

“When excavating into soils from a former gas station, the soils kind of smell like gasoline to some degree. And when you’re digging the hole that stuff flies up into the air and can be transported with the wind and things like that,” said Larry Engelhart, senior geologist for the Michigan Department of Environment. “So, what you’re smelling is the results from gasoline tanks that were removed back in the early 90s, but the impacted soils are still there.”

Engelhart said crews should be done removing the contaminated soil in the next couple of days. He said that will bring an end to the gas smell.

“It will be gone. I mean it was gone prior to us digging it. You couldn’t smell it before we went into the site and started digging it up. But it will be gone once they cover it up,” Engelhart said.

Hadd was happy to hear that news.

“That’ll be great. That’s all I’m looking for, is the end of the smell,” Hadd said.

Copyright 2019 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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