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Abandoned fuel tanks with gasoline unearthed in Amherst

Fire Chief Walter “Tim” Nelson said the three tanks, located in front of Bruno’s at 363 Main St., are believed to date to the 1930s.

“They were abandoned in place a long time ago,” Nelson said.

Two of the tanks still had gas inside them, one about 800 gallons and the other a little less, Nelson said. There is no evidence of any leaks, though the fire department brought in a certified environmental consultant as mandated by the state Department of Environmental Protection.

All the tanks have since been emptied and will be filled with concrete, Nelson said. While they could have been removed, officials were worried about compromising the foundation of the building.

Warner Brothers and All States Asphalt are handling the road project, which is expected to be complete within the next week. The $605,000 in work is being paid for using Community Development Block Grant funds and state Chapter 90 highway money.

Nelson said the discovery of the gas tanks shows how business closings were handled differently in an earlier era.

“Years ago before there was a DEP to make sure tanks cleared out, gas stations just closed shop and left the tanks there,” Nelson said.

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