Residents of a Seal Beach neighborhood where three homes were temporarily evacuated last winter are trying to build pressure on BP/ARCO to get rid of soil contaminated by leaky underground gasoline storage tanks.

More than two dozen carried signs reading “25 years is too long” and similar expressions of frustration during an demonstration last weekend at the gas station on Pacific Coast Highway, according to this story in the Huntington Beach News.

The Orange County Health Department last week rejected a proposal by BP/ARCO that didn’t include excavating the soil. The huge oil company and gasoline retailer has until mid-June to propose an alternate plan.

ARCO spokesman Tom Mueller said in a statement “we appreciate folks taking the time to express their opinion on how the clean up should proceed.” He said BP/ARCO “will certainly keep their concerns in mind as we evaluate all cleanup options for this site.”

To residents, the best solution is to dig out the bad dirt. Then “we can get our houses back and our lives back,” said Mario Iacoboni, a resident of the neighborhood adjacent to the gas station and a member of a volunteer environmental consultant task force working on behalf of affected residents.

— TRACY WOOD

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