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Cascade Natural Gas preserves local jobs as environmental clean-up remedy sought

The building at the corner of East Decatur Avenue and South Fifth Street that once held the offices of Cascade Natural Gas has been closed to walk-up traffic for nearly seven years, according to Senior Public Relations Representative Mark Hanson.

It was learned last week that Yakima County is seeking to address contamination on the property that resulted from the county's use of the property before Cascade Natural Gas occupied the building.

The property was once used as a shop for road crews and maintenance on the county's equipment, most likely oil changes, is believed to be the culprit for the contamination.

Commissioner Rand Elliott said the groundwater is shallow and the contamination is not dissipating as quickly as Yakima County would like.

Hanson said Cascade Natural Gas is working with the Washington State Department of Ecology because the company would like to sell the property.

"The only thing we use the building for at this time is to store materials," he said, stating service technicians working for Cascade Natural Gas work from their homes.

"There is no change in the number of employees serving Sunnyside," said Hanson.

The Yakima County commissioners last week formalized an agreement with Seattle-based Pacific Groundwater Group for nearly $31,000 for the installation of a monitoring well and groundwater collection. The group will also remediate the contamination issue.

Hanson said Cascade Natural Gas customers will not be impacted by the issue.

"The office has not been open to walk-in traffic since roughly 2005," he said.

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