The fuel station at Church’s Pier in the Oak Bluffs harbor will remain closed following a gas leak on the Fourth of July.
Oak Bluffs fire chief Peter Forend said that because of old fuel lines, the station at the harbor — the only source of fuel at the busy marina — will be closed until repairs are made.
On July 4 firefighters responded to a small fuel leak that Mr. Forend said originated from a fuel holding tank at the dock; the chief estimated that 15 gallons leaked into the harbor. At the time, the fuel line was shut down and foam dispersed to prevent a fire hazard.
Mr. Forend said he made the decision to keep the fuel station closed because “we don’t want to end up with any other issues.” The timeline for repairs was up to the fuel station owners, Mike and Mark Wallace, he said, adding that the owners have been cooperative.
Mr. Forend said the Department of Environmental Protection is monitoring the issue, and a licensed site professional was hired to observe clean-up, which has pretty much been completed.
The source of the problem seems to be older pipes, Mr. Forend said, that do not hold up as well to new ethanol gas.
“I know it’s a little bit of an inconvenience,” he said. “But safety first.”
“Unfortunately I don’t think there will be fuel on the harbor this season, but people and the environment will be safe,” selectman and board chairman Kathy Burton said at the board’s meeting Tuesday.