The cleaning of 36 properties in the Serene Lakes community near Donner Summit that have been affected by leaking propane is proceeding well. The leaks, which began in March, affected both properties where leaks actually occurred and properties where propane migrated from a neighboring parcel. As of today, 22 of the affected properties are no longer deemed threats to public safety and are not being managed by the Incident Command team, which consists of Truckee Fire Protection District, Placer County Environmental Health, Placer County OES, and the Placer County Sheriff’s Office.
By week’s end, about a dozen additional properties are expected to be removed from the list of properties being managed by the Incident Command team. A remaining issue is contacting homeowners to make provisions for gaining entry into homes to make a final check for any residual propane before releasing the property back to them.
Some property owners, as of this time, have not made arrangements with a contractor to clean their affected properties. If they don’t do so in a timely manner, the County will be forced to hire a contractor to clean the properties for them. Additionally some property owners have not removed the snow from their tanks and propane systems. Because of this, these tanks remain susceptible to failure from the weight and glacial movement of the snow as it continues to settle. Propane vendors have been asked not to fill any tank that has not had the snow removed from the tank, valves, regulators and piping.
The remaining managed properties are in various stages of remediation and will be deleted from the list of managed properties as soon as they are in full compliance with their required clean-up steps. However, new properties are being added to the list as additional leaks are reported or discovered.
Property owners, residents of and visitors to Serene Lakes should also be aware that not until the snow has completely melted, can final monitoring be done for propane, and any property declared “clean.”
The Evacuation Information Center (EIC), which has been located in the Summit Restaurant and Bar, 22002 Donner Pass Rd., in Soda Springs, closed permanently at 4:00 pm today. Placards, issued in the EIC to identify property owners and visitors, should be retained for possible future use should conditions warrant.
Current information can be found on the Placer County website by clicking this link: Serene Lakes 4/27/11