Route 66 News

Uncle Sam helps continue cleanup of abandoned gas stations

An Arizona program that cleaned up underground gasoline storage tanks at abandoned gas stations along Route 66 might have ended because of state budget cuts.

But the program is continuing because of federal stimulus funds, reported the based in Winslow. The report came during a meeting by the Navajo County Board of Supervisors.

Arizona Department of Environmental (ADEQ) Quality Community Liaison Byron James made a presentation to the board, noting that the clean-up project along Route 66 has been successful, with more than 20 sites cleaned up in the Winslow area alone.

Supervisors learned, however, that the program nearly came to a halt due to state budget cuts, but was reinvigorated with funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The stimulus funds were used to keep 23 projects in Arizona, six of which were located in Northern Arizona.

Here’s a video about the program, focusing on a cleanup project at the old Minnetonka Trading Post:

It’s difficult to see a downside to continuing the program. It gets rid of underground storage tanks that contaminate ground water and leak dangerous fumes into basements and storm sewers. The cleanups revitalize long-moribund property for future business use and raises the value of adjacent land.

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