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Navy Gets Approval to Replace Old Fuel Tanks at Point Loma

A plan to replace old fuel storage tanks at the Point Loma Naval Base was approved by a state agency today. The project includes permanently removing underground tanks that have been leaking fuel. KPB

Navy Gets Approval to Replace Old Fuel Tanks at Point Loma

A plan to replace old fuel storage tanks at the Point Loma Naval Base was approved by a state agency today. The project includes permanently removing underground tanks that have been leaking fuel. KPBS reporter Ed Joyce has more.

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The California Coastal Commission approved the Navy's five-year plan to replace 54-year-old storage tanks with larger above-ground tanks. The underground tanks from the 1930s have leaked fuel into the ground.

Patti Adams has lived in the nearby La Playa neighborhood for the past 15 years. She says construction of the new tank farm will be disruptive to the neighborhood in the short term. But Adams says getting rid of the old tanks is more important in the long run.

<b> Adams </b> : There's a bit of emission smell down there sometimes now and that's going to be significantly lessened. So long-term it's going to be a benefit to the environment and a benefit to the residents.

The Navy has been working to recover the leaked fuel and remove the contaminated soil. Base Commander Captain Mark Patton says construction will start next year on the new tanks. He says the $140 million project is the ultimate fix to the fuel leaks at Point Loma.

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Ed Joyce, KPBS News.