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Ken Pickler, chief of the transportation branch for the Far East District Corps of Engineers, bows before a pig's head during a ceremony Thursday for the opening of a two-pump gas station at the FED Compound. It's a Korean tradition to put money in the pig's head as a way to bring good luck.

Ken Pickler, chief of the transportation branch for the Far East District Corps of Engineers, bows before a pig's head during a ceremony Thursday for the opening of a two-pump gas station at the FED Compound. It's a Korean tradition to put money in the pig's head as a way to bring good luck. (Jeremy Kirk / S&S)

YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — With a boiled pig’s head and a dash of Korean alcohol, Far East District Compound officials christened a new gas station Thursday featuring new leak- proof technology.

The two-pump station replaces a 1960s-era pump and tank that leaked. The new facility has two 1,000-gallon fuel tanks — one for JP8 and another for gasoline — with double Fiberglas walls, said Ken Estabrook, FED chief of facility management.

“We wanted to modernize and have a much safer operation,” Estabrook said.

The work was performed by Pinetree Environmental, a South Korean company that has built 14 other service stations at U.S. installations on the peninsula, said Martin Jung, the company’s project manager. The new station cost about $220,000.

The station has a special skimmer system to collect runoff in case of a spill, which uses gravity to separate water from fuel, Estabrook said.

The station also has an alarm system to warn of a leak in the tank, Estabrook said. The station conforms to California construction standards.

The emphasis is on the environment, said Bill Yerabek, the FED’s chief of logistics management. “We want to be good environmental stewards,” he said.

Officials held an opening ceremony with the pig’s head as the centerpiece. Pigs are considered good luck in Korea and often used at the opening of new stores or businesses.


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