3 thoughts on “Dry Cleaning Contamination”

  1. Interesting that the First Street site is listed but the skating rink site (101 E. Locust?) is not. That site has had a dry cleaner and a print shop according to the surveys, yet the only remediation required was removal of the underground storage tanks.

  2. It’s been a while since a dry cleaner was actually there Yinn. There has to be a way to check the current standing of this lot with the IEPA.

    1st street cleaners is going to be scary especially when Inbodens just spent all of those dollars and time remodeling and expanding the grocery store/meat market into the cleaners area. What do they do to clean up the site?

    Inbodens didn’t know that this question about dry cleaners was out there?

  3. “Chicago Tribune” bloggers sort of ripped into the story. Here are some examples:

    Chicago, IL
    21 hrs ago

    I have worked as an environmental consultant at dry cleaning sites in IL. This article was very poorly written.

    It didn’t explain the PCE breaks down into the DCE and VC as microbes in the soil consume the chemicals. The injections (referred to in this article as “chemicals” and “catalysts”) provide more food and other nutrients for the microbes. More microbes eat the pollutant and it is remediated faster. It takes a long time because because those double bonds linking the atoms are tough to break!

    Unfortunately, the article seeks to sensationalize a situation and create fear to sell more papers. It doesn’t state that no groundwater is used within the City of Chicago (all drinking water comes from Lake Michigan). Not trying to justify the sloppy actions by the dry cleaners, but it would be worth explaining the low liklihood of exposure if you are writing an article about pollution and health threats.”

    Chicago, IL
    9 hrs ago

    I response to James, at our firm we used a chemcal process that we injected into the groundwater that chemically broke down the PCE that was much faster that biodegredation. This was highly dependant on the underground conditions and success what proportional to the rate of groundwater movement. But there are other technologies available that do work faster without a biological component, thought they are a little more expensive. I do agree that this article was sensationalized and singled out only one of the many prossible problems out there.

    To Chicago News, the EPA has very sloppy records in regard to dry cleaners for decades past, but insurance companies are a much better resource. Sanborn maps in particular are usually a much better source of information. And usually any consultant with any kind of expereince will test soil in areas that were popular dumping sites (like out the back door) if there is any kind of doubt.”

    Dekalb, IL
    9 hrs ago

    What this article fails to mention is that some dry cleaners have actively been trying to get the state to approve the clean-up. Additionally, some began paying for the clean-ups (that haven’t happened!) more than 5 years ago. Most people are not aware that at least one of these “high priority” sites has MINIMAL contamination, and the nearby river was tested and was not contaminated by perc. If it’s such a high priority, why hasn’t the state approved them yet?
    If you are worried about this, go into your dry cleaners and ask them for the documentation from their testing.
    This article was very poorly written and researched, and the Tribune really should post an article clarifying the issue with an apology to the owners of the dry cleaners who have been trying to do the right thing.”

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