Port of L.A. to remove three underground storage tanks

SAN PEDRO — Three underground storage tanks at Cabrillo Marina will be removed as the Port of Los Angeles’ Board of Commissioners approved plans for the excavation and cleanup of the subterranean structures.

The port district’s board of commissioners approved a negative declaration, June 15, to finalize plans to remove three 10,000-gallon underground storage tanks. Costs associated with removing the tanks is about $54,000.

Cathay Bank, which has an ownership claim at the project site, installed the three underground storage tanks at Berth 31 in 1985. A petroleum leak was discovered at the tanks roughly seven years later. Los Angeles officials repaired the leak shortly after discovery.

Odors from the leak were detected at a restaurant located inside the Doubletree Hotel at Cabrillo Marina.

“The source of the contamination was found to be the piping connection to the 10,000-gallon gasoline [underground storage tank], which had shifted over time causing a leak,” port staff stated.

The leaked tank would be part of the excavation process, port staff stated. Also to be removed are electrical utilities, fuel dispensaries and all other infrastructure associated with the three underground storage tanks.

Additional excavation of chemically impacted soil might also be necessary, port staff stated.

“Based on available information (e.g., previous investigations and monitoring reports), it is estimated that a volume of approximately 700 tons or 518 cubic yards of contaminated soil could potentially be present in an approximately 1,600-square-foot area adjacent to the tanks,” port staff stated. “These additional potential construction activities under Phase II of the proposed Project could require an additional 15 days of construction.”

Soil excavation and removal would require at least 29 truck trips – with another 29 truck trips necessary to perform the subsequent landfill, according to port staff.

“During the 3-day excavation period, it is anticipated that there would be a maximum of 10 truck trips per day; however, during the two-day backfill and soil compaction period, there could be as many as 15 truck trips per day,” an official report of the planned excavation stated.

There are no immediate plans to repurpose the area once the tanks are removed.

“Following the completion of contaminated soil excavation and any other additional remediation activities, the area would be backfilled and repaved with asphalt consistent with the existing parking lot material and grade,” port staff stated.

The Board of Commissioners approved the negative declaration, without discussion, as part of its June 15 consent calendar.

Cabrillo Marina is one of 15 waterfront venues at the Port of Los Angeles. The marina is home to a Doubletree Hotel, Los Angeles Yacht Club, office and retail spaces, boating slips, banquet and meeting halls, and parking spaces.

L.A. Harbor area boaters had lost a fuel dock at Cabrillo Marina in December 2015, when Cabrillo Marine Fuel Dock abruptly shut down and stopped servicing vessels. The fuel dock shut down due to an ability to keep the storage tanks up to code. The dock’s operator stated he would’ve needed $14,000 to keep the underground tanks current.

Port of L.A. photo

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated from its print version.

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