They say time heals all wounds.  I think it's more like $54 million  spent on recovery efforts to remove 770,000 gallons of diesel fuel from the ground beneath downtown Mandan.  People new to the area probably have no idea what I'm even talking about.  Well, this story definitely predates me as well- and I landed in Mandan 20 years ago!

The story begins 35 years ago when Mandan discovers diesel fuel in the ground while constructing the new Mandan Law Enforcement Center.  But, where could all this diesel fuel have come from?  Well, I see that train a'coming.

Getty Images

Yep, seems overfilling of tanks and hose breakage at the rail yard led to hundreds of thousands of gallons of diesel entering the ground over the decades.

If you have no idea about any of this, or would like a quick refresher- take a look at this report.  It's short and there's pictures.  It really explains it perfectly.  Click here to read.

So, now you might notice those newer looking little shacks located in the alleys of downtown Mandan. They're part of the multi-year extraction process. If you clicked that link you can see how that progress has been charted over the years.

Tuesday September 1st 2020 may have signaled the final closure of the project. From a press release from Mandan City Administrator Jim Neubauer dated September 4, 2020.

On Tuesday, Sept. 1, the Mandan Remediation Trust (MRT) considered a letter from the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality (NDDEQ) related to the closure of the diesel fuel remediation system. The letter indicated July 2020 measurements did not show any significant increase of free product in any monitoring wells compared to 2018 and 2019. The decommissioning process of the remediation system will soon begin.

 

It was a mess, but some could say the remediation money reinvigorated downtown Mandan?   I'll never say that dumping a million gallons of diesel is a good thing.  But, nice work on the cleanup!