Plans for Pennzoil Moving Forward

Dennis Evanosky &nbsp&nbsp Pennzoil’s above-ground storage tanks at the company’s Grand Street property (above) are slated for removal along with the company’s building at Clement Avenue (below). The company ceased operations in August.

Plans for Pennzoil Moving Forward

Shell Oil, the owner of the property that houses the Pennzoil plant on Grand Street, has announced plans to demolish the buildings and above-ground tanks at the location.

In its remedial action plan Shell told the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board (Water Board) that it also plans to conduct “remediation work to prepare the property for sale.”

The Water Board states that Shell will excavate 11,400 cubic yards of soil from the property and sample the remaining soil to ensure pollutants have been removed. In addition, Shell plans to backfill the excavation with clean material.

The plant has been in operation since 1951. It takes up some 4.1 acres of property bounded by Grand Street, Fortman Way, Ellen Craig Avenue and Hibbard Street.
From 1951 to 1995, Pennzoil blended and packaged petroleum- based products at the site. From 1995 to August of this year, the site served Pennzoil as a distribution center.

Lubricating oils were discovered in the tank farm area in 1985 and additional oil was spilled in this area in 1990.

Environmental work began when the company removed underground storage tanks. In 1996, two more storage tanks were removed. Then, in 2002, spills from some of the tanks on the property called for the removal of some 410 cubic yards of soil.

Complaints to the city about rusting, above-ground storage tanks led to Pennzoil removing 37 tanks, leaving just 11 tanks on the property.

The facility once consisted of a tank farm that contained 29 oil storage tanks and held 48 above-ground bulk storage tanks. These 48 tanks had a combined capacity of 3,045,758 gallons.

Additional contaminated soil was discovered during later site inspections. Contaminated soil was removed in 2002, however, some contaminated soil was left under above-ground storage tanks to maintain their structural integrity.

The Water Board will review and consider all public comments before deciding on Shell’s plan.

The public is invited to submit comments no later than 5 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 20. Send comments to Alyx.Karpowicz@waterboards.

The public can view Shell’s plans and other reports for the site at Search for SL373281185; click on the Report tab.

Community Relations Consultant Tracy Craig is available for questions at 510-334-4866 or email