Dry Cleaner contamination has become a significant liability for many individuals and retail shopping center owners. The remediation of chlorinated solvents, specifically tetrachloroethene (PCE), from dry cleaning operations can place an extreme financial burden on a company as it can impact not only the existing dry cleaner location but it can also have ramifications for adjacent suites and shopping centers as a whole.
A common decision that must be considered is: should in-place remediation be used that allows a business to continue operations, or should aggressive measures be used that require the operator and possibly adjacent tenants to temporarily vacate the premises? Most often, property owners and/or operators do not want to lose rent or income, especially given the additional burden of costs for cleanup.
How can we find a path forward?
Over the last 10 years, EEC Environmental (EEC) has implemented a variety of remedial solutions focused on technically sound site cleanup strategies coupled with minimizing or eliminating interruption to business activities. The cleanup of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including PCE, is an expensive process which is only exasperated if that business can’t bring money in the door by continuing to operate. Costly and large-scale remedial implementations also create issues for property owners, as they take up critical space for parking and new businesses, and create noise concerns. What may look like a technically sound cleanup approach may not be the best business decision or overall approach for the client and/or project. Our team of geologists and engineers go to great lengths to ensure strong project decisions are made that are good for the property owner and tenant.
EEC has been involved with hundreds of dry cleaner facilities throughout our history. During this time we have evaluated and implemented many site-specific remedial solutions based on state-of-the-art and time-proven technologies. Over the last 5 years EEC has implemented the following remedial approaches while only relocating the occupant for a short amount of time or not at all:
- In-situ biological treatment
- In-situ chemical oxidation
- Soil-vapor extraction with both vertical and horizontal extraction wells
- Focused remedial excavations utilizing limited access bucket auger drill rigs or small footprint excavation equipment
- Active and Passive vapor mitigation
- Risk management and modeling
Any dry cleaner or property owner who finds themselves in a situation where subsurface remediation is required should know there are creative solutions that can result in cost benefits to resolve the issue while allowing business as usual to continue. Please keep your eyes on our website in the coming months for a technical article detailing the approaches described above, including several relevant case studies.