An environmental services truck and workers could be seen at the site of the burned 7-Eleven store at 371 Trans-Canada Highway on Wednesday, April 10. (Martha Wickett/Salmon Arm Observer)

Imperial Oil plans to sell former 7-Eleven site in Salmon Arm

Environment ministry must okay plans to ensure contaminated soil remediated

Imperial Oil plans to sell the site of the former 7-Eleven convenience store, once any environmental work needed is done.

A spokesperson for 7-Eleven assured Mayor Alan Harrison recently that the burned building at 371 Trans-Canada Hwy. will be demolished before the tourists arrive in May. 7-Eleven has been leasing the site from Imperial Oil.

Jon Harding, Imperial Oil spokesperson, said on April 12 that the company’s plan would include doing an environmental assessment once the demolition is done. Remediation would take place, if necessary.

“Typically we’d go to the province to get a certificate of compliance. When we have that, we plan to market the property for sale.”

He notes all of the work will take time.

According to the city, the demolition must be done in concert with the B.C. environment ministry.

Kevin Pearson, the city’s director of development services, says in an email that because the site was once home to a gas station, the provincial Contaminated Sites Regulation requires the owner to deal with any contaminants on-site at the time of a demolition permit.

“They don’t need to keep us updated… without a Demo Permit application, but it does needs to be dealt with and MoE (Ministry of Environment) would need to authorize favorably before a Demo Permit can be issued by the city.”

The ministry provided an update on the site, which identifies contaminant migration, but not high risk. It states in an April 12 email that Imperial Oil notified the ministry on Aug. 21, 2007 of site decommissioning and its intention to carry out independent remediation.

Read more: Police arrest a suspect after front of 7-Eleven goes up in flames

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Read more: Man charged in Salmon Arm 7-Eleven fire granted bail

Read more: City wants fire damaged 7-Eleven site cleaned up

Read more: 7-Eleven to demolish burned building in Salmon Arm

“The service station was to be decommissioned in September 2007 and Keystone Environmental was retained to conduct the environmental investigation; a preliminary site investigation (was) required in connection with these notifications.”

Since then, states the ministry, petroleum hydrocarbon impacts to soil were identified on transportation ministry property adjacent to the Imperial Oil property. On Dec. 13 of last year, what are called ‘Notifications of Likely or Actual Offsite Contaminant Migration’ were issued to the transportation ministry and to the city, the city because it has utilities under the sidewalk within the highway property.

Risks at the source and to affected properties were then classified.

“Results of these classifications showed that the properties were not high risk.”

The ministry states it’s been advised that detailed site investigations are currently underway at the source and at the adjacent property.

“As a result of ENV’s (the ministry’s) requirement for site investigation, issuance of any local government land use authorizations will remain restricted until site remediation has been confirmed as complete, or the ministry has been contacted for further advice.”

The Observer was unable to reach a spokesperson for 7-Eleven.


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