Protecting Public Health and the Environment.

New Plymouth Rural Fire Board Fire Station - New Plymouth

Site Background

The Former Shell Oil Station at 324 SE Avenue (Highway 30) New Plymouth, Idaho, constituted a severe blight property along the City of New Plymouth's main thoroughfare. The City of New Plymouth contacted the Idaho Brownfields Program for assistance in assessing the potential environmental contaminants at the former service station.

In 1956, two gasoline underground storage tanks (USTs) were installed at the site. The USTs, according to the former mayor of New Plymouth, had a capacity of 1,000-gallons each and were installed to a shallow depth just outside of the service station's foundation. The site operated as a Shell Oil station until 1960. There is no record of UST removal and disposal. The property changed ownership around 1960 and was converted into a restaurant. The restaurant closed in the mid to late 1960s. The property changed ownership again and the structure was converted into residential rental apartments that were in a poor state of repair. The property changed owners two more times before being purchased by the Rural Fire Board. The property was still used as residential rental apartment housing until the Rural Fire Board purchased it.

Potential contaminants on site included petroleum hydrocarbons associated with the USTs, potential waste oil UST or waste oil staining (unknown), potential asbestos containing materials and/or lead based paint associated with the original construction of the structure.

NewPlymouth FireStation 1
Former tank pit area. Structure is shown demolished in the left side of the photograph.

Regulatory History

There is no history of regulatory enforcement for this site. The site ceased operations as a service station by 1960. There is no record of the site in the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality's (DEQ) UST/LUST database.

Site Activities

With the assistance of DEQ's Brownfields Program, the City of New Plymouth applied to EPA for a Targeted Brownfields Assessment (TBA). In July 2004, EPA's contractor, URS, conducted a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) in an attempt to determine whether or not any past site activities posed a potential for a release of contamination on the site. URS determined that the site did at one time have both gasoline USTs and a waste oil UST. Using magnetic imaging in the areas of the suspected USTs, URS concluded that the gasoline USTs may not have been removed.

Consequently, the City of New Plymouth contacted DEQ and requested a TBA for a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment and the removal of the USTs and characterization of any subsurface contamination found as a result of the UST removal. DEQ's contractor, Maxim Technologies, conducted the ESA and was able to locate the former UST dispenser lines.

NewPlymouth FireStation 2
Excavation of the former dispenser lines. Cut end is shown at the right side of the photograph.

No contaminated soil was found in the vicinity of the pipes. The pipes were traced to the point where the former USTs were located. The pipe had been cut and left in place. Excavation in the area of the former UST pit confirmed that the USTs had been removed some time in the past. No soil staining or contamination was discovered.

DEQ determined that no further site assessment activities were necessary at this site.


The property in question lies on New Plymouth's main thoroughfare, near New Plymouth High School. To place firefighting equipment in proximity to the high school, two nearby service stations, and commercial and public facilities, the Rural Fire Board constructed a 6,500 square foot fire station on the property in 2012.

Staff Contacts

Brownfields Program Coordinator
Eric Traynor
DEQ State Office
Waste Management and Remediation Division
1410 N. Hilton
Boise, ID 83706
(208) 373-0565

Related Pages

Brownfields Assessment Program

Brownfields Grants

Voluntary Cleanup Program