In Fairfax City, there is this large mysterious “tank farm” on Pickett Road into which huge tankers pull in and out at all hours. The tanks themselves contain oil and gas, and have been the scene of some horrendous spills over the years, including a 200,000-gallon fuel leak in 1990 that outraged residents in the city and the Mantua and Stockbridge neighborhoods of Fairfax County.
Last year, within about a month of each other, two tanker trucks pulling out of the “farm” went too fast through the intersection with Little River Turnpike, rolled over and dumped their gasoline into the ground. Again, more outrage.
Now the state and federal environmental control agencies have issued a $114,385.48 fine against the TransMontaigne company, which runs the tank farm. “The negligence of the tank farm’s owner continues to endanger the health of everyone who lives near the tank farm,” Rep. Gerald Connolly (D) said in a news release Friday — he lives in Mantua, as a matter of fact — and Connolly said he was preparing legislation which would grant the EPA authority to shut the tank farm down.
Overhead view of the TransMontaigne tank farm on Pickett Road in Fairfax City.