Recently released data from the quarterly sampling of monitoring wells near the Village Food and Fuel Shell Station continue to detect smaller amounts of hydrocarbons in the soil at the station and nearby.

Last month, additional sampling also began near the Chevron station. “We previously approved a work plan for eight monitoring wells at the Chevron, four of which were installed in April,” said Sharon Boltinghouse, public health professional geologist for the Riverside County Department of Environmental Health. “Due to limited cleanup fund budget for this site, only half of the wells were able to be installed. The remaining wells will be installed as soon as the fund increases the budget for this site.”

The March sampling at the monitoring wells at and near the Shell station (Village Food and Fuel) detected small amounts of hydrocarbons. The level from monitoring well 1 was 1.22 micrograms per liter (μ/L) the lowest volume since 2011.

While detectable amounts of benzene, ethylbenzene and xylems were recorded from the onsite monitoring well MW-4, these were also low and none were detected in the off-site monitoring wells.

While concentrations of methyl-tertiary-butyl ethane (MTBE) are significantly lower than the maximum recorded, this was still levels detected during this sampling event in onsite well MW-4 (3.66 ug/L), down-gradient wells MW-5 (16.0 ug/L), MW-10 (2,990 ug/L) and MW-12 (28.1), cross-gradient wells MW-6 (8.29 ug/L) and MW-13 (3 12 ug/L), and up-gradient well MW-15 (4,670 ug/L). MTBE was not detected in onsite wells MW-1 through MW-3.

Robert Manning, the engineering geologist conducting the monitoring, concluded, “It is our opinion the detected MTBE in on-site well MW-4 and off-site wells MW-5, MW-6, MW-10, MW-12, MW-13 and MW-15 is derived from the Idyllwild Chevron located approximately 160 feet north (up gradient) of the site.

“If the investigation of the Chevron station indicates the contaminate source of MWs 5, 6, 10,12, 13 and is the Chevron site, the subject site [Village Food and Fuel] should be considered for closure,” Manning recommended.