Department of Ecology News Release - March 9, 2015

Demolition starts cleanup at abandoned Tiger Mart in Yakima

YAKIMA – Demolition at an abandoned gas station signals long-awaited cleanup and restoration at the former Tiger Mart at 24th Avenue and Nob Hill Boulevard.

“This site has been an eyesore at a prime intersection in the city for many years. Now we’re turning a corner and readying it for a new commercial lease on life,” said Yakima City Manager Tony O’Rourke.

The city is partnering with the Washington Department of Ecology to clean up the former gas station and mini-mart after years of court battles with a previous owner. Petroleum that leaked from underground storage tanks remains floating on a shallow underground aquifer and continues to contaminate surrounding soils.

“We’re really pleased to be working with the city to get at the remaining pollution at a site that has vexed us for so long,” said Valerie Bound, Ecology’s toxics cleanup manager in Yakima. “It’s win-win and opens the door to redevelopment.”

Ecology provided $500,000 in grants to fund 90 percent of the current project. The work and funding dovetails with a legislative initiative to help communities get sites cleaned up for renewed economic benefit.

Court confirmed agreements to clean up the site were first entered into in 2004 with former owner Tiger Oil Corp., and its insurance company. When efforts to complete cleanup failed, the city agreed last year to purchase the site and three others owned by Tiger.

More than 16,000 gallons of gasoline has been recovered from the site. In addition, the leaking tanks and 700 tons of contaminated soil were transported off site.

Approximately 4,000 gallons of free-floating fuel and additional contaminated soil need to be removed before redevelopment can occur.

Gasoline saturated soil will be excavated and removed after the building is demolished. Oxygen-releasing compounds will be used to break down any remaining contamination in the soil and groundwater.

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Contact:

Joye Redfield-Wilder, Ecology communications, 509-575-2610; @ecyCentral

Randy Beehler, City of Yakima communications, 509-901-1142