Petroleum Vapors at Intersection of Gentile and Angel
Layton City

What is Vapor Intrusion? What are the potential health effects of petroleum vapors?

Notification area: Gentile St. to 500 South and Angel St. to Denver & Rio Grande Western Trail

More Information

Safety concerns

  • Layton City Public Works (801) 336-3720
  • Layton City Fire Department (801) 336-3940

Health concerns

  • Davis County Environmental Health Department (801) 525-5128

Investigation information

  • Utah Department of Environmental Quality (801) 536-4123
Gentile and Angel Flyer

Download the print version of the flyer distributed to residents on February 26, 2019 (17 MB)

Background

Residents in a small area near the intersection of Gentile and Angel streets in Layton City reported petroleum odors on Feb. 14, 2019. This initiated an investigation to determine the source and extent of the vapors. Reports were made to the Davis County Health Department (DCHD) and the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Since the initial reports, state, county, and local officials have actively investigated potential sources, pathways, and extent of the vapors. Water sampling and vapor monitoring are ongoing.

Due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, this page will be updated as new data become available. Please check back regularly for the latest sample results and findings.

Update March 8, 2019

Division of Environmental Response and Remediation (DERR) environmental scientist Kevin Beery oversees the installation of Geoprobes to test groundwater near the gas station.

Division of Environmental Response and Remediation (DERR) environmental scientist Kevin Beery oversees the installation of Geoprobes to test groundwater near the gas station.

Groundwater samples have been collected in the area around the intersection of Angel and Gentile Streets in Layton. Groundwater was typically encountered approximately nine feet below ground surface and likely flows to the southwest. This likely directional flow may be affected by subsurface drainage in the area. The results of the groundwater samples are compared to Regional Screening Levels (RSL’s) for petroleum contamination. The groundwater collected on the south side of Gentile Street indicated petroleum contamination. These groundwater samples were further screened against Vapor Intrusion Screening Levels. The samples collected south of Gentile Street near the rail trail and near the intersection of Sugar and Gentile Streets contained concentrations of certain hydrocarbons in the groundwater that could result in vapor intrusion to residences.

The Division of Environmental Response and Remediation (DERR) continues to sample groundwater in these areas in an effort to pinpoint the source(s) and determine the size of the contamination plume.

Update March 5, 2019

Underground Storage Tank Tests

Tank and line tightness tests were performed on February 27, 2019, for the underground storage tanks and piping at the gas station. The diesel and premium tanks both passed, as did all of the piping. The unleaded tank initially failed the tightness test. On March 1, 2019, it was determined that the spill bucket on the unleaded tank was cracked, causing the tank to fail the tightness test. The spill bucket was replaced, and the tank passed a tank tightness test late in the day on March 1, 2019. The cracked spill bucket had minimal soil staining in the surrounding backfill immediately around the bucket, but nothing to suggest a large release.

Vapor Mitigation Systems

The vapor mitigation systems installed in the three homes have been operating since March 1, 2019. The Division of Environmental Response and Remediation (DERR) continues to evaluate the impact of vapor intrusion on the homes in the area to ensure the systems are effective.

The 417 Investigation

The investigation continued on March 5, 2019, with the installation of groundwater monitoring wells to delineate the extent of the groundwater contamination to the southwest under the subdivision. DERR will continue its investigation to determine the source of the groundwater contamination found near the gas station and is reaching out to the property owner to secure access.

Stormwater Data

Stormwater samples collected for lab analysis indicate petroleum contamination at several sample locations. Concentrations of certain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in some samples exceeded Regional Screening Levels.

February 25, 2019

Employees of the Division of Water Quality (DWQ) and Layton City Public Works collected water samples at six locations in west Layton. Four of those samples were collected from the storm drains in the area of Gentile and Angel Streets, while the other two were collected from Kays Creek and the outfall where the storm drain system flows into the creek. This sampling followed an initial sampling of the outfall at Kays Creek by the Davis County Health Department and Layton City on February 23, 2019.

The samples were analyzed for concentrations of organic compounds present in diesel fuel and gasoline and also for dozens of other VOCs, particularly benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes, and naphthalene.

The samples collected from a storm drain upstream near 196 North Sugar Street and a storm drain in a catch basin at approximately 30 North Sugar Street did not contain detectable concentrations of any of these compounds. However, samples collected from the storm drains at the intersection of Angel Street and Gentile Street and the intersection of 75 South Street and Angel Street contained some of these compounds in concentrations that exceeded Regional Screening Levels (RSLs) and indicated petroleum contamination.

The sample collected at the storm drain outfall near Heritage Elementary School on Weaver Lane in Layton still contained detectable concentrations of volatile organic compounds, of which the concentration of benzene exceeded the Regional Screening Level.

February 27, 2019

As a follow-up to the previous sampling, employees of DWQ, Layton City Storm Water, and the Utah National Guard collected samples from three locations in the storm drain system. Samples were collected at the upstream control site, at the intersection of 75 South Angel Street, and at the storm drain outfall on Kays Creek and analyzed for the same contaminants as the previous samples.

The sample collected at the upstream control site did not contain any detectable concentrations of volatile organic compounds, but diesel-range organic compounds were detected in the sample. Concentrations of diesel- and gasoline-range organic (GRO) compounds were detected in the other two samples, along with several volatile organic compounds. In general, the concentrations detected in these samples were greater than those collected on February 25, 2019. This is thought to be due to the rain that fell in the area before and during the time the samples were collected.


Update March 1, 2019

March 1 News Release (290 KB)

Groundwater

Groundwater samples (72 KB) have been collected in the area around the intersection of Angel and Gentile streets in Layton. Groundwater was typically encountered approximately nine feet below ground surface and likely flows to the southwest but may be affected by subsurface drainage in the area. The results of the groundwater samples are compared to Regional Screening Levels (RSL’s) for petroleum contamination. The groundwater collected on the south side of Gentile Street indicated petroleum contamination. These groundwater samples were further screened against Vapor Intrusion Screening Levels. The samples collected south of Gentile Street indicate concentrations in the groundwater that could result in vapor intrusion to residences.

Stormwater

On February 25, 2019, employees of the Utah Division of Water Quality (DWQ) and Layton City Public Works collected water samples at six locations in west Layton (64 KB). Four of those samples were collected from the storm drains in the area of Gentile and Angel Street, while the other two were collected from Kays Creek and the outfall where the storm drain system flows into the creek. This sampling followed an initial sampling of the outfall at Kays Creek by the Davis County Health Department (DCHD) and Layton City on Saturday, February 23, 2019.

The samples were analyzed for concentrations of organic compounds that are present in diesel fuel and gasoline and also for dozens of other volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particularly benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes, and naphthalene. The samples collected from a storm drain upstream near 196 North Sugar Street and a storm drain in a catch basin at approximately 30 North Sugar Street did not contain detectable concentrations of any of these compounds.

However, samples collected from the storm drains at the intersection of Angel Street and Gentile Street and the intersection of 75 South Street and Angel Street contained some of these compounds in concentrations that exceeded Regional Screening Levels and indicated petroleum contamination.

The sample collected at the storm drain outfall near Heritage Elementary School on Weaver Lane in Layton still contained detectable concentrations of volatile organic compounds, of which the concentration of benzene exceeded the Regional Screening Level.

Surface Water

The sample collected from Kays Creek (36 KB) at the Bridge Creek Lane Bridge approximately 100 yards downstream contained detectable concentrations of gasoline-range organic compounds (GROs), toluene, and xylenes, none of which exceeded any screening levels. This sample indicates that the contamination is diluted sufficiently such that the creek does not pose a health risk to the public. DWQ will be further analyzing Kays Creek data for impacts to aquatic life.

The source of petroleum odors in a Layton City neighborhood has been narrowed down to petroleum products in the groundwater.

Scientists from the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) have identified petroleum products in the groundwater adjacent to a gas station on Gentile Street. Once in the soil, the petroleum dissolved in the groundwater and moved along a natural pathway toward the neighborhood at the intersection of Gentile and Angel Streets. Along this pathway, it encountered a secondary track through a back-filled sewer trench and worked its way into the 40-year-old storm drain along Angel Street. The vapors then traveled from the storm drains into people’s homes.

DEQ, Layton City, and the Davis County Health Department (DCHD) have been working together to identify the source since residents near the intersection of Gentile and Angel streets reported petroleum odors on February 14, 2019.

Vapor recovery systems were installed in three homes using funds from Utah’s Hazardous Substance Mitigation Act (HSMA). These systems will soon be operational, and displaced residents are returning home.

Scientists at the DEQ Division of Environmental Response and Remediation (DERR) are unsure of the extent of the plume and encourage residents who smell petroleum odors in their homes or emanating from a storm drain to call 9-1-1 so the Fire Department can respond.

Investigators from DERR were able to identify the source by drilling Geoprobes in the neighborhood and analyzing the chemistry of the vapors.

Results from drinking water tests showed no contamination. Water samples from the storm drain, however, showed hydrocarbon contamination.

DEQ will continue to post updates as new information becomes available.


Update February 27, 2019

Feb. 27 News Release (310 KB)

Coordinated sampling continued in the affected area. After the informational flyer was distributed to residents, the Layton City Fire Department received reports of two additional households in the area with gas fumes. Utah’s National Guard provided technical assistance to help with investigation efforts.

Division of Environmental Response and Remediation (DERR) activities

Fieldwork for the 417 Subsurface Investigation began today with the collection of soil and groundwater samples from several Geoprobe (groundwater monitoring) boreholes along the west and south sides of the gas station. The analytical results from these samples should be available on February 28, 2019.

Division of Water Quality (DWQ) data

DWQ received the following lab results from samples collected February 25, 2019:

  • The control samples collected in storm drains upstream and in the flood basin directly to the west of the gas station on Sugar Street did not contain detectable levels of gasoline, diesel, or any other volatile organic compound.
  • The sample collected at the intersection of Angel Street and Gentile Street contained concentrations of diesel range organics (DROs) that are likely to exceed screening levels and concentrations of benzene that exceeded DWQ groundwater standards.
  • The sample collected at the intersection of 75 South and Angel Street contained concentrations of diesel range organics (DROs) and gasoline range organics (GROs) that exceed screening levels and concentrations of benzene that exceeded DWQ groundwater standards. The highest contaminant concentrations of all the samples collected were detected at this location.
  • The sample collected at the storm drain outfall at Kays Creek contained concentrations of benzene that exceeded DWQ groundwater standards.
  • The sample collected at Kays Creek (approximately 100 yards downstream from the outfall) contained detectable concentrations of gasoline, toluene, and xylenes, but none exceeded screening levels or groundwater standards.

Division of Drinking Water (DDW) data

DDW received lab results for the eight homes that were sampled by Layton City Public Works on February 23, 2019. All drinking-water samples were non-detect for VOCs.

Additional test data will be posted as soon as it becomes available.


Time Line

February 26, 2019

DEQ and Layton City assembled and distributed a flyer about the petroleum vapors to residents in the affected area. The flyer included a brief synopsis of the issue, a map of the area, and contact numbers for health and safety information.

DEQ’s Division of Water Quality (DWQ) collected samples from six storm drain locations:

  • Upstream control samples north of the gas station
  • Near the gas station
  • The intersection of Angel Street and Gentile Street
  • The intersection of 75 South and Angel Street
  • Storm drain outfall into Kays Creek
  • Kays Creek at Bridge Creek Lane

The DWQ Spills Coordinator collecting the samples reported the strongest gasoline odors at the Gentile and Angel Street intersection and the 75 South and Angel Street intersection. Test results are expected back on February 27, 2019.

A preliminary groundwater sample was collected from the backyard of one of the affected residences on February 25, 2019. Groundwater was encountered approximately nine feet below ground surface.

DEQ personnel met with a DEQ-contracted consultant to install a subsurface vapor removal system at three residences. Three perforated PVC casings were installed adjacent to the three houses that reported petroleum vapor odors inside their homes. The vapor extraction system will remove petroleum vapors from beneath the houses. In addition, sub-slab soil-gas samples were collected from under each of the three houses, and the analytical results from the samples should be received on February 28, 2019. The source of the petroleum vapors is not currently known.


February 25, 2019

DEQ, Layton City, Layton Fire Department, and Davis County Health Department (DCHD) continued to coordinate their activities to identify the source of the gasoline vapors. The pipeline company dug up additional portions of the pipeline. DERR installed Geoprobe groundwater monitoring wells in the front yards of two of the residences and collected water samples from the wells.

One sample collected on February 23, 2019, at the outfall in Kays Creek showed elevated levels of benzene.


February 23, 2019

Layton City worked with the Davis County Health Department (DCHD) to sample the stormwater outfall that enters Kays Creek. Sampling was requested by the Division of Water Quality (DWQ).


February 22, 2019

Another homeowner contacted Layton City Public Works to report a strong smell of gasoline from the storm drain in front of her house located approximately a quarter-mile from the other houses with reported vapor impacts. Layton City reported that the storm sewer is a 33-inch concrete drain at a depth of 16 feet. The Air Force installed the storm sewer in the 1950s.

DERR’s contractor, DERR staff, the Layton City Public Works Director, and the Layton City Fire Battalion Chief conducted a survey of the storm drain to check for petroleum vapors. DERR staff indicated they smelled gasoline vapors at the Kays Creek discharge point and in a manhole slightly upgradient of the creek. No sheen or gasoline was observed in the creek. The investigation moved north to check storm drains upgradient from the gas station and impacted homes. Vapors were not detected in the manholes north of the gas station on Sugar Street. The sanitary sewer was also checked near the same area and no petroleum impacts were detected.

Pipeline personnel began a new excavation on the north side of Gentile Street to check the pipeline and determine if there were any petroleum impacts in the area.


February 21, 2019

The pipeline company began excavating an area around their pipeline in the backyard of one of the impacted homes. There was no visual evidence of impacts to the soil from the pipeline, but they were unable to excavate to depth without shoring. The DERR contractor was on site to collect samples and observe the excavation as well as begin planning for the installation of a vapor abatement system for the impacted homes.

DEQ Executive Director Alan Matheson authorized the use of Hazardous Substance Mitigation Act (HSMA) funds to take emergency actions to abate the imminent threat to the three affected homes. Vapor monitoring equipment is scheduled to be installed shortly.


February 20, 2019

Petroleum vapors were detected in the basements of the three homes by a photoionization detector (PID), a portable vapor and gas detector that can identify the presence of a variety of organic compounds.


February 19, 2019

The Davis County Health Department (DCHD) reached out to DEQ’s Division of Environmental Response and Remediation (DERR) and Division of Water (DWQ) for assistance. DERR and DWQ began work to identify the source(s) of the vapors and the extent of the impact on the community. DERR initiated a 417 Subsurface Investigation into the incident because a gas station with underground storage tanks is located upgradient of the homes experiencing the vapor intrusion. DERR and DCHD met with residents and entered the homes to monitor the vapors.


February 17, 2019

The DERR contractor took nine soil vapor readings and collected four soil samples for laboratory analysis. No volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or Gasoline Range Organics (GROs) were detected, and very minimal Diesel Range Organics (DROs) were detected.

Stand-up pressure tests were conducted on the petroleum pipelines. Pressure tests passed and both pipelines were restarted.


February 16, 2019

DERR received a report from the original homeowner that the smell had become much worse since his previous call. Two other neighbors had noticed the gas smell in their houses. Several homeowners decided to leave their houses because the gas smell was permeating their entire house.

DERR reviewed the ATG records from the previous three months to ascertain whether the leak detection system had failed. The records indicated there was no gasoline leak from the underground storage tanks.

An additional report from the National Report Center (NRC) indicated that a pipeline company was investigating a possible hydrocarbon release from an eight-inch petroleum pipeline. Both pipelines were shut down pending further tests.


February 14, 2019

A homeowner living at the intersection of Gentile and Angel Street in Layton contacted DEQ’s Division of Environmental Response and Remediation (DERR) to report that he and a neighbor had smelled gasoline vapors in their basements. The caller first noticed the odor two weeks before but noted that the smell had become stronger since that time.

DERR contacted the nearby gas station to request automatic tank gauging (ATG) records. An ATG is an electronic device that monitors the fuel level in an underground storage tank over a period of time to see if the tank is leaking.

The Davis County Health Department (DCHD) and Layton City Fire Department visited the home, and DCHD tested the indoor air in the home with a volatile organic compound (VOC) monitor (photoionization detector or PID). Homeowners were concerned about a possible gas leak. The report was entered into the DERR Environmental Incidents Notifications database for investigation.


What is vapor intrusion?

Gasoline is a mixture of petroleum hydrocarbons that is blended with various additives that influence the ability to become volatile. Many of the hydrocarbons found in gasoline vaporize readily at room temperature. When gasoline is spilled on the surface or underground, they can volatilize quickly. If released underground, these vapors can make their way to the surface and migrate into basements and other structures.

Known as petroleum vapor intrusion (PVI), the movement of these contaminant vapors into buildings is of concern due to the potential safety threats and possible adverse health effects. Reporting petroleum odors to the proper authorities helps ensure that they can ascertain whether the vapors pose a concern or threat. To date, the vapors investigated by the Layton Fire Department have not proven serious.

What are the potential health effects of petroleum vapors?

Petroleum vapors contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), a large and diverse group of chemicals that evaporate easily in air. Some, like benzene and toluene, can have harmful health effects when inhaled at high levels.

Many VOCs have a strong or distinctive smell, often chemical or gasoline-like. People can smell some VOCs at very low levels, often below the levels associated with health effects from breathing them for a short period. Different VOCs have different health effects and levels of risk. However, there are some typical health effects that can result from short-term inhalation:

  • Eye, nose, and throat irritation
  • Headache
  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Loss of coordination
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Nausea

Individuals experiencing health effects they suspect are caused by inhaling VOCs should seek fresh air and consider contacting their health care provider or the Utah Poison Control Center at (800) 222-1222.

If the health effects are serious, it’s recommended that people call 9-1-1.

For more information on possible health impacts from gasoline, consult the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) fact sheet on gasoline health effects.