The state has recently agreed to provide funding for the Idyllwild Chevron underground storage-tank project.

“Great news! The Idyllwild Chevron UST cleanup was accepted into the Expedited Claim Account Program (ECAP) and now has State funding to expedite the cleanup,” wrote Sharon Boltinghouse, Public Health professional geologist for Riverside County’s Department of Environmental Health. The amount of funding will await approval of the work plan, which RM Environmental of Calimesa will submit.

Phone calls between the county, the state and the site consultant, RM Environmental, resulted in the agreement. The work plan should be submitted shortly, according to Boltinghouse.

In December, the State Water Resources Control Board rejected Riverside County’s request to close the underground storage tank clean-up project at the Idyllwild Chevron.

The SWRCB report stated that its case-closure policy permits this type of action, but the Idyllwild case does not meet all of the “required criteria.”

The state recommended that extent of possible groundwater-contamination down gradient from the site be better defined and a feasibility study for corrective action be developed.

The basic SWRCB objection, according to its report, was, “According to groundwater data, water quality objectives have not been achieved,” although the state agrees that no public-water supply wells are within 1,000 feet of the projected plume.

This work will be done as part of RM Environmental’s proposal. The work will include several hydropunches to locate and to help define the benzene plume down gradient of the site to the west and southwest. Results of the groundwater samples collected from these hydropunch borings will be used to select locations for two more groundwater monitoring wells.

The Idyllwild case met seven of eight policy criteria. However, SWRCB reviewers felt the groundwater quality was still unknown because the extent of the contaminant plume has not been defined. Further, past sampling has shown that both benzene and methyl tert-butyl ether have been found moving down gradient from the site.

The state board conducted its review after the Regional Water Board expressed its opposition to the closing case. While the state agreed that the plume has not been ad