Commonly, dry cleaners use a substance called tetrachloroethylene (PCE) in their clothes-cleaning processes. PCE is a substance with known health risks that sinks when it makes contact with wet soils and groundwater. Since PCE is heavier than water, it is called a Dense Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid (DNAPL), or a “sinker” because it sinks to the bottom of water tables. Small amounts of PCE released in soil have a tendency to spread horizontally and vertically from the source area. PCE soil vapor plumes exist below many older dry cleaning sites, creating potential health risks to building occupants and may impact groundwater.
The Reynolds Group has assessed and/or remediated hundreds of dry cleaners. We are experts in the environmental audits of dry cleaners, the performance of subsurface assessments (including soil gas surveys, soil and groundwater sampling, and groundwater well installation). If PCE is detected, we have extensive experience resolving the case. TRG’s remediation techniques include excavation, in-situ extraction, and chemical injection. In addition, given current regulatory trends, TRG is proficient in conducting the work that is necessary to determine if health risks may exist in properties or adjoining sites using vapor intrusion model calculations.
We have assisted clients on a variety of legal issues associated with dry cleaners including, but not limited to, assignment of responsibility in a Federal litigation, diminution of real property value, Superfund responsible party designation, third-party litigation regarding off-site impacts, and determination of most appropriate, timely, cost effective remedial solutions.