August 28, 2013 | Volume 100 / Number 351

It's Gone: Tommy Rodgers' Sinclair

It stood on U.S. 2 for perhaps 60 years, but now it’s gone. Tommy Rodgers’ turquoise and white Sinclair station, closed for a long time, was knocked down and taken away on Monday. Then a heavy Cat went to work on the concrete and asphalt pavement. Traffic was bumped over into one lane so big side-dump trucks could be filled with the rubble.

Samar Fay / The Courier
Tommy Rodgers’ Sinclair station was closed for years before the Montana Department of Environmental Quality demolished it Monday. The leaking underground tanks were removed by the DEQ in 2000.

The old gas station is a contaminated site being cleaned up by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality. The leaky underground system of five tanks, piping and dispensers was removed by the state in April 2000. Rodgers had been ordered by the state to pull the tanks out but he didn’t. Groundwater monitor wells were installed, which revealed continued contamination, so the decision was made to remove the building to clean up the soil.

Rodgers came to Glasgow in 1953 and the Sinclair station was the base of his many businesses, according to his obituary. He died in 2009.

Pioneer Technical Services of Butte is the state contractor removing the petroleum-contaminated soil, hauling it to the county landfill in hired Fossum trucks. About 1,560 pounds of ORC Advanced pellets, an oxygen release compound, will be placed in the bottom of the excavated pit, where it will come into contact with ground water to enhance microbial degradation of the residual petroleum hydrocarbons.

The site will then be backfilled, compacted and resurfaced with asphalt. The work will take up to two weeks.

Patrick Skibicki, an environmental specialist with the DEQ, said the site will be excavated to a depth of 10 to 15 feet, depending on the water table. An estimated 2,150 bank cubic yards of material will be removed – that’s measuring the soil in its original state, before it is dug up and put loosely into a truck.

Skibicki said a plume of contamination, dissolved hydrocarbons carried by moving groundwater, extends toward another building and the alley to the southwest. Monitor wells will be inspected on a semi-annual basis, he said.

Funding for the work is done through the Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) Trust Fund. The money is 90 percent federal, with a 10 percent match from the state.

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