State environmental officials said yesterday they are investigating a potential fuel leak at a Citgo service station on Harford Road after a gasoline additive was detected in wells at the station and on neighboring properties.
Elevated levels of methyl tertiary butyl ether, or MTBE, have been detected in one of three monitoring wells at the station, at 12601 Harford Road, and in the well of a nearby business, said Herbert Meade, chief of oil control for the Maryland Department of the Environment.
Although there is no safe drinking-water limit for MTBE, the state has set 20 parts per billion as an action level, at which it recommends treating the water or using alternate supplies.
Testing this month measured 36 parts per billion MTBE in the station's monitoring well, Meade said. Followup tests of wells on four commercial properties around the station registered 100 parts per billion MTBE in a well serving a cabinetmaking business. The other three wells showed no traces of the additive, he said.
Low levels of MTBE also have been detected in the drinking-water well serving the Citgo station and in the well of a nearby homeowner, Meade said.
Residents were notified this week of the investigation by registered letters mailed by Baltimore County's Department of Environmental Protection and Resource Management. State law requires such notification of everyone within a half-mile of a confirmed case of ground water contamination.
State officials have ordered Carroll Independent Fuel Co., which owns the service station property, to test for leaks at the station, test nearby wells for contamination and supply carbon filtration systems to the business with the tainted well. The residential well with low levels of MTBE already is being filtered because of prior gasoline contamination, Meade said.
Attempts to obtain comment from officials at Carroll Independent were not successful.
Timothy B. Wheeler
Road closures, detours for race
Intersections will be closed and detours in place today because of the Maryland Hunt Cup steeplechase race, according to county police.
Traffic heading east on Tufton Avenue from Worthington Avenue will be detoured to Dover Road starting at 2 p.m. Also, westbound traffic on Tufton Avenue from Falls Road will be frequently stopped to allow pedestrians to cross.
From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., several intersections will be closed. They are: Worthington and Tufton avenues; Belmont Avenue and Bulter Road; Mantua Mill and Geist roads, Tufton Avenue and Falls Road; and Dover and Tufton Ridge roads.
Man sought in store robbery
Baltimore County police are asking for help in identifying a man suspected of a robbery attempt at an Essex-area convenience store.
A man entered a Royal Farms store in the 1000 block of Old Eastern Ave. in Essex about 11:45 p.m. last Saturday, walked to the counter and demanded money, police said. When the clerk refused, the man said he was going to shoot the clerk, but he ran out of the store without any money, police said.
The man is suspected in two other robberies at convenience stores in the eastern part of the county, police said. The suspect is described as a white man, around 40 to 50 years old, about 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall, 150 pounds with gray, crew-cut style hair. He was wearing a dark-colored leather jacket and green sweatpants, police said.
Anyone with information is asked to call county police at 410-307-2020 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7-LOCKUP.
Children's Chorus to perform
The Children's Chorus of Maryland will perform its annual spring concert at Goucher College in celebration of the group's 30th anniversary.
The concert, scheduled for 7 p.m. May 7 in Kraushaar Hall on the Towson campus, will include pieces performed with orchestra, small ensembles, piano and a cappella. The music will include works by Diemer, Copland, Bernstein, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Barber, Walker and Vaughn Williams.
Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for students, children ages 5 to 17 and seniors 55 and older. Information: 410-494-1480.