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Pacific Southwest Media Center

Removing Underground Storage Tanks on Navajo Nation

Three images found under the 'Photo Gallery' tab directly beneath the images

EPA’s Underground Storage Tank Program located and removed two 1,000-gallon underground storage tanks at the former Smith Lake Trading Post. The former trading post started operations around 1906. The original trading post was a large, cut stone building with gas pumps out front.

The tanks may have been buried for more than 70 years and were taken out of service in 1981. The trading post burned down in 1995.

The tanks were permanently decommissioned and taken to a recycling facility for scrap metal. Petroleum product stored in the tanks could have leaked into the soil and potentially into the subsurface and groundwater and find its way into the nearby Smith Lake.

As part of the abandoned tank removal process, EPA collected soil samples in April of 2016. Contamination was below federal and tribal standards.

Photo Gallery

Dry desert landscape with gravel road 'T' instersection. Foreground has ~2ft by 2ft and 1ft high concrete cube with steel fill nozzle for fuel deliverySite fill ports with suspected underground storage tank underneath | Click to enlarge
Rusty, cylindrical tank being excavated from desert landscape.Exposed underground storage tank
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Rusted steel cylindrical tank being lifted out of trench by excavatorTank removal | Click to enlarge
Closeup of rusted steel underground storage tank showing complete rust through of tank (multiple rust encrusted holes through the tank)Removed underground storage tank with large hole
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Workers taking samples from exposed trench.Soil sampling for contamination at tank removal site
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Rusty UST tank on a flatbed trailer with 'do not use' spraypainted on backRemoved underground storage tank going to recycling center | Click to enlarge