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Refueling at Highlands has not violated rules

LANGLEY — Prompted by concerns of Langley residents, city officials have reviewed work at the Highlands construction site to make sure the contractor was sticking to the conditions of approval for the 53-home project.

City staff said they are happy with what they have seen.

Talk about construction activity on the property at the city’s southern end heated up after several Langley residents noticed tanker trucks refueling on the Highlands premises.

Langley residents Hal Seligson and Paul Goldfinger were concerned that a potential fuel spill could contaminate Langley’s water supply, as the Highlands project is being built on land above the city’s aquifer.

Protecting the city’s source of drinking water was hotly debated in city council meetings last summer before the Highlands was approved. Former Councilwoman Faith Bushby stressed at the time that it was important to take every possible measure to protect Langley’s water supply.

As a condition of approval for the development, the city banned gasoline refueling on-site. Diesel refueling is treated differently, however.

City planner Larry Cort told the council at its last meeting that he and public works director Rick Hill met with the developers at the Highlands site to go over state regulations that restrict on-site refueling.

Hill and Cort reviewed the refueling area and the equipment that was being used.

“We left this meeting satisfied that they are meeting the requirements,” Cort said.

The city will continue to monitor the site occasionally, Cort said.

Seligson said due to the sensitive location, the requirements set by the city were not enough. Having the contractors adhere to the minimum local requirements would be reasonable for non-sensitive locations, he added, but irresponsible for an aquifer/wellhead area that serves a growing population.

Cort said that the contractor must follow requirements that are nearly identical to the best management practices for mobile fueling that are detailed in the state Department of Ecology’s stormwater management manual.

Cort also said that the city monitors the water supply daily and any problem would be detected immediately.

Community Events, April 2014

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