(This article may contain biased opinion)

RCOCC logoWenatchee Petroleum of Wenatchee, WA is seeking a permit to install two 30,000-gallon propane storage tanks at 20 Chestnut Street, Chelan Falls. The property in quesƟon, while zoned industrial, is a narrow (330 foot) strip situated at the confluence of the Chelan and Columbia Rivers and is approximately 500 feet from an established residential neighborhood.

The sliver of property is also sandwiched between two beloved Chelan PUD parks, Powerhouse and Chelan Falls. The parks feature picnic areas and shelters, tennis courts, soccer fields, swimming areas, a children’s play structure, a boat launch, and basketball courts. They are frequented by picnicking families, soccer teams, parents and children, dog owners exercising their canine companions, and numerous waterfowl. The beaches are sometimes used by local churches to conduct baptisms. A prized fishing hole is located approximately 300 feet from the property on which the propane tanks would be located. The children’s play structure in Chelan Falls Park is less than 700 feet away.

While propane is non-toxic, according to Dr. Brian Paterson, PhD, the risk to the adjacent properties and those who live in or frequent them is from the potential of an explosion. While a rare occurrence, an explosion in this particular area could have devastating consequences. According to Dr. Paterson, because of the proximity of residences and persons visiting the two parks, “this is a terrible location for such an operation.”

The official public comment period on this proposal is closed. Nonetheless, if you wish to express your concerns, or otherwise comment, please contact the Chelan County Community Development Department: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (509) 667-6225.

While a public hearing will be held, it has not yet been scheduled.