For more than a year, the smell of gasoline has been permeating Seth Wing’s Old Hyde Park home.
“It seemed like every night, one of the neighbors was calling the fire department because of the smell,” he said.
His roommate developed headaches. And the smell kept getting stronger, so like many of his neighbors, Wing called the gas company.
“I would like to know that my neighborhood is going to be safe place to live and I’m not going to have to live with the gas smells interfering,” Wing said.
41 Action News Investigation
41 Action News has been investigating this gasoline smell for a year. In May 2015, we obtained exclusive video from the Kansas City Water Department of a camera sent into the sewer, in front of Wing’s home, to see what was going on. The video showed waves of gasoline sitting on top of the water and a large crack in the old, clay line.
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources dug a trench and removed the gasoline that had pooled under the pipe.
Their staff also traced it to the Shell gas station at 38th and Main - one block away from Wing’s home.
Months later, 41 Action News obtained exclusive documents that showed the leaky tank identified was mistakenly filled with gas in June, which caused another leak.
We also found letters sent from the Department of Natural Resources to the gas station owner, Sayed Mohammed Asif, warning him to fix the problem as well as a notice of violation letters.
Action finally being taken
Fast-forward a year, and action is finally taking place. 41 Action News observed crews removing the faulty tank.
The Shell Station has hired APEX Enviro-tech to conduct environmental remediation and repairs and install additional protective measures to prevent further incidents.
We tried to talk to the crew as well as the man inside the gas station about what was going on. Both declined to speak with us and referred 41 Action News to the DNR.
The DNR wrote us, “The responsible party’s contractor is removing the storage tanks and lines in order to replace them with new ones. The department is providing oversight on the project.”
41 Action News has tried to speak with the gas station’s owner on multiple occasions, leaving our contact information. We have not received a response to our request for an interview.
Ariel Rothfield can be reached at Ariel.Rothfield@KSHB.com.