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Orange County

Judge Halts Cleanup at Gas Station in Irvine

October 12, 2002|STUART PFEIFER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

An Orange County judge issued an injunction Friday that prohibits an oil company from installing equipment to clean up pollutants beneath an Irvine gas station.

The order by Superior Court Judge Derek Hunt comes three days after work crews, under police guard, started cleanup efforts at Alfie's Place, a busy service station, lube shop and carwash near Culver and Michelson drives.

County health officials want former property owner Unocal to remove pollutants, saying they threaten the county's drinking water supply. But Unocal and Alfie's Place owner Joel Burnstine have been unable to agree where cleanup equipment should be placed.

On Tuesday, Unocal work crews started the cleanup project. Now the project must remain on hold until the issue is resolved at trial, scheduled to begin next month.

Unocal is responsible for the cleanup because the pollution, caused by leaking underground gasoline tanks, occurred while it owned the property, officials said.

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