Neighbors Against Bethany Lake Gas Station
Table of Contents
Chevron Adjacent Bethany Lake Third Design Meeting
On March 30th 2022 @ 6pm Bob Barman, the developer proposing a Chevron adjacent to Bethany Lake, is hosting a meeting with his design firm 3J Consulting to go overview a third design for the station.
- Join via Zoom
- Phone: +1 253 215 8782
Included in the announcement were three documents:
This is the third design proposed by Bob Barman and his team at 3J Consulting for a Chevron that would put 52,000 gallons of petroleum 80ft from the Rock Creek wetlands that feed into Bethany Lake.
- April 2020: First Chevron adjacent to Bethany Lake design proposed
- September 2020: First Chevron design withdrawn
- September 2021: Second Chevron design proposed
- March 2022: Third design proposed
See our timeline for more historical context.
Statement at the Meeting
On behalf of our campaign to stop this development and introduce land use code updates to require setbacks for gas stations in Washington County I intend to read the following statement at the meeting.
Hello Mr. Barman and 3J -
I have organized a campaign of hundreds of Washington county resident who live both adjacent to your property and are regular users of the public park, wetlands and lake that is adjacent as well. And I want to make a combined statement on behalf of all of these residents and the work we are doing.
First some context on myself: I’m an entrepreneur, business owner, and timber property owner. So, I can empathize with your situation: acquiring private property, making capital investments in that property, and building a business is an awful lot of work. And the entire community understands that under the current Washington county codes you have a property right to put in this proposed gas station.
However we don’t think that using this site for a gas station is the right thing to do.
In the last few months, while organizing fellow citizens, I’ve read a bit about your philanthropy and community volunteering. And I applaud your community spirit; thank you.
And it is to your community spirit that I am asking you to do the right thing by our community by finding another property for your next gas station development.
That said, I don’t think it is fair to rely purely on pathos. So, I will layout at a high level the economic and environmental case that municipalities coast-to-coast from Petaluma, California to Montgomery County, Maryland have made to introduce gas station setbacks of hundreds to thousands of feet from public parks, wetlands, and lakes. Setbacks that we are working diligently on introducing in Washington County because we are shocked about this development.
Public Economic Burden: Gas stations leak petroleum products: Oregon DEQ data from 2021 shows a 3% leak rate from not just tanks, but also dispensers, delivery mistakes, and piping. These leaks contaminate adjacent property, groundwater, waterways, and soil. In one case a partial cleanup in Yamhill Oregon cost taxpayers well over $500k. Now, of course the EPA requires $1M in insurance for underground storage tanks. But, any insurance payout is contingent on the government and other land owners ability to extract that money out of the insurance company and prove that the policy holder was at fault. In many cases extracting money from insurance companies fails as is depressingly clear from Oregon DEQ and EPA guides on underground storage tank responsible party searches. In short: siting 52,000 gallons of petroleum on a narrow property 80 feet from public wetlands puts a huge public liability on us as Oregon and Washington County taxpayers.
Environmental Burden: My 18 month old son saw his first duck this year on the Rock Creek Trail and excitingly quacked. My fellow Washington County residents have told me how they love to fish trout stocked by Oregon Fish and Wildlife from Bethany Lake. And the Tualatin Hills Park and Recs Department says the Rock Creek Trail and adjacent childrens parks are some of their most popular. And your proposed gas station makes us wonder: what would this environment look like with hazmat crews wearing waders and respirators digging recovery trenches, pumping contaiminated water, installing monitoring wells, and pulling cleanup pads out of the wetlands. It isn’t a hypothetical- we have all seen the photos from the cleanup of 14,000 gallons that leaked from a gas station in Monmouth, Oregon in April 2021. Further, after the hazmat crews leave we think about the leak sites across the country that take years and decades to filter and break down the petroleum in the ecosystem’s soil and water even with the support of millions of dollars of cleanup investment.
So, I ask you to consider the economic and environmental burden you are asking our community to bear by choosing to develop this property 80 feet from a public park and wetland. If you are open to it I am happy to have a meeting to run you through our data. Or you can visit on of our websites at PostPump.org which provides primary sources.
Thank you for the time.