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Great Falls Exxon Environmental Meeting Set

GFCA to host meeting on former Exxon station contamination.

The Great Falls Citizens Association will host a public meeting about environmental issues stemming from contamination from the former Great Falls Exxon Station May 14.

The Great Falls Citizens Association will host a public meeting about environmental issues stemming from contamination from the former Great Falls Exxon Station May 14. Photo by Alex McVeigh.

— The Great Falls Citizens Association will host a public meeting Tuesday, May 14, to address the environmental impact of lingering effects on the site of the former Exxon station at the corner of Walker Road and Georgetown Pike.

The station ceased pumping gas last September, and the fuel tanks were removed. Testing of the grounds has revealed the presence of several gasoline additives.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality installed a well on the site last month, but data has not been collected yet. A corrective action plan for the site was planned for development in April or May, with a subsequent public comment period, but has not been released yet.

"The purpose of this meeting is to get accurate information and to have a discussion about what effects these chemicals might be having on our groundwater, and what will be done to fix it," said Amy Stephan, an executive board member of the GFCA.

David Houston, a lawyer representing Fairfax Petroleum, said that the data from the well will be used for the corrective action plan. The TD Bank currently proposed for the site may be put on hold while the site is cleaned.

Speaking at the meeting will be Kurt Kochan, a geologist with the state’s DEQ, who will speak on the status of the site and any toxicity issues that could affect the groundwater of surrounding properties.

Carol Stone of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation will also speak. She is an expert on the fractured limestone, or karst, that Great Falls sits on top of. She will explain how contamination can travel, as well as differences between groundwater and surface water.

The meeting will take place Tuesday, May 14, at 7:30 p.m. at the Great Falls Library, 9830 Georgetown Pike.