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SUMMARY

The Old Total Gas Station - Caro property is a closed gas station located southwest of downtown Caro, Michigan. The gas station was built in 1957. In 1988, the underground storage tanks on the property were found to be at risk of leaks, and fuel sales were stopped. The property continued to be used as a convenience store, until it closed in 1993. Title to the property has reverted to the Village of Caro for back taxes.

The groundwater and subsurface soil on the property are contaminated with gasoline components (benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene, xylenes, lead), probably from suspected leaks in the underground storage tanks. There is no current human exposure to the contaminated water and soil, and precautions should be taken to minimize human exposure to the contaminants in the future.

BACKGROUND AND STATEMENT OF ISSUES

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has asked the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) to evaluate the health risks associated with the Old Total Gas Station - Caro property as part of a Brownfields Pilot Project.

The Old Total Gas Station - Caro property is located at 604 S. State Street in the village of Caro, Michigan (Figure 1). The gas station was built in 1957, and originally had two service bays and a hoist. Waste oil from oil change services was collected in a 1,000 gallon underground storage tank. In the mid-1980s, the service bays were closed and that part of the building converted to a convenience store. The oil tank and a similarly-sized kerosene tank were removed in the mid- to late-1980s. In August 1988, the remaining underground tanks on the property were tested for leaks, and failed. The tanks were emptied, and fuel was no longer sold at the station. On October 12, 1990, the owner of the gas station filed for bankruptcy. The business closed on February 4, 1993 (1). The title to the property has reverted to the Village of Caro. At this time, there are no proposed plans for the property.

In December 1997, the MDEQ carried out field work for a Brownfields Redevelopment Assessment of the property (1). On December 3, 1997, during the MDEQ field work, MDCH staff visited the property.


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