AUGUSTA — State hazardous spill responders used ground-penetrating radar to locate what is to believed to be a leaking underground storage tank after the smell of kerosene or gasoline was reported 9:30 a.m. Friday by workers at Safelite AutoGlass.

David Madore, spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection, said gasoline was found in a storm drain entering a stream near 251 State St.

“The investigation led us across State Street to the Motor Supply lot,” Madore said late Friday afternoon. “That is where we are digging. We have not located the tank yet.”

He said the responders from the department’s Division of Response Services and Technical Services were at the scene and at least one person remained there at 4 p.m. Friday.

He said the responders were working with the property owner to excavate the tank, pump it out and remove it.

Augusta Fire Department Deputy Chief David Groder said the building was evacuated and responders found a sheen of oil in a stream. Along with state responders and city code enforcement officials, the Greater Augusta Utilities District, which has a wastewater treatment plant nearby on Jackson Avenue, also came to the site.

Groder said firefighters were there for several hours as the source of the leak was sought.

Madore said responders placed absorbent materials in the stream to collect as much gasoline as possible that might have leached into it.

He said the timing of the reported spill was better than if it had happened Friday night or Saturday, for which heavy rain was forecast, and there could have been more environmental damage.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams


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