letter to editor

EZ Stop-Concord issues

The building of an EZ Stop gas station has three possible impacts on Fort Loudoun Lake.

1. When semi-trucks are off loading gas (a hazardous material) and filling underground tanks, there is the possibility spills can get into groundwater and contaminate the lake.

2. The close proximity of train tracks to the gas station is a problem for the following reason: railroad train traffic causes seismic waves that would cause the peak particle velocity to impact the underground fuel storage tanks and underground fuel lines by possibly cracking fuel lines, contaminating ground and surface waters. The surface impoundment structures would not mitigate the underground impacts.

3. The reason the Sinking Creek Embayment to the lake is called Sinking Creek is because, before the construction of Fort Loudoun Lake, Sinking Creek would go underground due to sinkholes that were breached and flowed to the Tennessee River. This area lies within a geologic district of a Karst ecosystem with sink holes and caverns. Sinkholes are formed by loss of subjacent support and internal soil erosion, called piping, to caverns.

Placing a water retention structure over a sinkhole will feed the soil-piping problem, causing a catastrophic collapse. A 4-feet deep closed depression, a.k.a. sinkhole, exists in the construction area. The proposed underground fuel storage tanks, as well as the restaurant, lie within the sinkhole boundary. The collapse will take down the building and underground fuel storage tanks resulting in a massive pollution of the ground water and the lake.

Field observations of the sinkhole suggests no run-off water is being impounded in the sinkhole, which suggests water directly infiltrates the sinkhole soil and percolates to the underlying geologic strata of limestone caverns, suggesting an active sinkhole exists.

Since the proposed gas station is being built over this sinkhole, special environmental concerns should be implemented to prevent a major pollution event affecting the ground water. Best management practices should include not to allow a gas station to be built over this area.

Gary Tucker, Concord