NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – In the past, North Myrtle Beach has maintained their own fuel supply for police and city workers, but crews are now in the final stages of a plan to transition to using fuel cards for those officials to purchase gas at the local gas station.
A press release from city spokesman Pat Dowling says the new plan came about close to a year ago, in an effort to save money and avoid potential costly environmental risks.
The final part of that transition was underway this week as crews removed four underground fuel tanks near the city’s vehicle maintenance area on 2nd Avenue South.
Each of the four underground tanks weigh about 9,000 pounds and were capable of holding about 10,000 gallons of fuel. Now that they’re out of the ground, the tanks will be taken to a scrap yard after they’re cleaned and where they will be recycled.
It is estimated that the fuel tanks have been in the ground for more than 40 years and they appear to be in good shape. Once the tanks have been removed, the SC Department of Health & Environmental Control will determine if any soil remediation is necessary at the site.
The city has also joined an alliance that includes large cities like Charlotte, North Carolina to purchase emergency fuel at a reduced rate in the event of a hurricane, ice storm or other event that affects electrical power and access to fuel at local stations.
A private firm provides the city with one above-ground tank for diesel fuel and one for gasoline in case of emergency. Whatever fuel the city does not use from the two above-ground emergency tanks each year goes back to the supplier and the city is credited for the return of the product.