An investigation into how much petroleum has seeped into the soil at the Port of Walla Walla's Burbank Industrial Park is continuing three years after the contamination was first discovered.
Chevron has taken the lead in planning the cleanup of pollutants found near the company's valve station at the port's industrial park.
The port believes the oil pipeline under the port's property may have leaked over a period of time, said port Executive Director Jim Kuntz.
Chevron's valve station has been at the Burbank Industrial Park since the '60s, and the company has an easement on the property, Kuntz said.
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Port officials became aware of the possibility of contamination when they could smell petroleum during the installation of a water system, Kuntz said.
Chevron took over the cleanup effort about a year ago, after the port and company reached an agreement, Kuntz said.
Chevron already reimbursed the port $124,000 for the initial investigations the port did to confirm the pollutants.
Chevron intends to use a soil vapor intrusion system to better determine what petroleum contamination is present, Kuntz said.
The corporation is working with the state Department of Ecology on a voluntary cleanup plan under the state's Toxic Cleanup Program.
Kuntz said they aren't sure about the exact level of contamination, although several areas exceed levels that would trigger cleanup.
The petroleum does need to eventually be cleaned up, and that's something Chevron plans to do, Kuntz said. The testing should help the company determine what the best method of cleanup would be.