LONG BEACH — A crumbling former gas station and three rusty fuel tanks are being dismantled and removed, relieving Long Beach of an eyesore and environmental concern at the corner of 1400 Pacific Avenue.

“We’re trying to get the property cleaned up,” said Paula Richardson, vice president of Saga Environmental and Engineering, an environmental consulting firm based in Portland.

Richardson was on site Tuesday, April 25, during the initial dismantling of three above-ground fuel tanks, the first step in site cleanup. The tanks, nearly rusted beyond recognition, once contained different octanes of fuel and had become a potential source of soil and water contamination.

The next stage in cleanup is removal of the building. After that, excavating and remediating any contaminated soil and groundwater are the next steps, Richardson said. That step will remove petroleum and fuel residues and is anticipated to take about a year to complete.

Former gas stations are among the most egregious environmental offenders, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Of an estimated 450,000 petroleum-contaminated sites across the U.S., about half are from storage tanks at former gas stations, according to the EPA.

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