Thanks to quick action by Rubis, the Water Authority and others, soil removal from the former service station at 282 Shedden Road in George Town nearly complete. The work makes way for redevelopment of the station and adjacent to the former Jacko’s Auto Service property by the Flowers Group.
Traces of gasoline and diesel fuel in soil were discovered near the former station in April. Although the source of the product release was unknown, Rubis immediately started working with the Petroleum Inspectorate, the Water Authority, the Flowers Group and hired Arcadis, an internationally recognized environmental engineering firm with substantial experience in the Caribbean and worldwide. Using local contractors, investigations, and cleanup work began within three days of discovery and in full cooperation with the Water Authority of Cayman, the Office of the Petroleum Inspector and others.
Looking back, Rubis Cayman Islands Ltd. Managing Director Joel Maes recalls “Even though we didn’t know for sure if the product release was from our station or a neighboring property, we knew the right thing to do was to act quickly to get testing and cleanup underway.” Maes goes on to say “Our other primary concern is the safety of our workers, customers, and neighbors. For example, we promptly closed the station and coordinated with all authorities to assure the product release was contained until a complete cleanup could begin.” Rubis has already completed demolition of the station and removal of underground storage tanks.
No gasoline, fuel, or odors were found when the Water Authority tested private water wells within 500 feet of the station. This shows that the material is isolated, contained, and not affecting groundwater of neighboring properties. Affected groundwater within the Shedden Road site is being treated to remove residual hydrocarbons during the excavation process.
The cleanup method includes digging up all affected soil, loading it into trucks, and placing it temporarily in a specially designed land treatment unit or “LTU” built for the purpose by Rubis at its Canal Point Drive property. Rubis emphasizes that the soil is only temporarily held at the Canal Point Drive property during treatment via environmentally friendly bioremediation methods. The LTU poses no direct threat to human health, the air quality is actively monitored and the treatment operation modified or halted as needed to prevent odors beyond the property boundaries. The entire plan is approved and overseen by the Water Authority. During the excavation, occasional minor odors and increased truck traffic are expected until soil removal is complete and during final activities at the site through year end.
“We appreciate the patience of our neighbors and cooperation of all authorities while we quickly clean up the property so it can be redeveloped and returned to good use,” said Maes. He added, “Rubis strives to be a good neighbor and we want to hear from customers and our neighbors with any questions or concerns while we complete this project on Shedden Road.”
With service stations across 10 locations in Grand Cayman and the Sister Islands, Rubis Cayman Islands Ltd. employs directly and indirectly about 140 people. We have a strong commitment to environmental stewardship, employee and customer safety, and social and charitable organizations in the local communities in which we operate.
Joel Maes, Managing Director
Rubis Cayman Islands Ltd.