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Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England

Alexson's Cleaners

Alexson's Cleaners

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection requested EPA's help on July 13, 2006, to evaluate indoor air contamination of perchloroethylene, a solvent used in dry cleaning, in Sanford, Maine. The former dry cleaners, Alexson's Cleaners, operated at 46 High St. from the 1950s until 2005 and had released dry cleaning fluids to the ground under the building. Tests done by DEP detected elevated levels of the solvent, also called PCE, in soil gas throughout the area and elevated levels of the solvent in the building across the street.

From July 2006 to May 2007, EPA did an assessment and site investigation, including a soil gas survey, indoor air sampling and soil and ground water sampling. The results indicated the soil and ground water under the former Alexson's Cleaners building contained elevated levels of PCE and its breakdown products, trichloroethylene, dichloroetheylene and traces of vinyl chloride. In addition, the soil gas throughout the surrounding area contains PCE. An EPA assessor concluded that the concentrations of PCE detected in the cleaners and in an apartment across the street presented an excess lifetime cancer risk greater than the acceptable EPA limit.

An assessment of cleanup technologies concluded that the most efficient method of cleaning the soil and groundwater was in–situ chemical oxidation using sodium permanganate. This technology was used in two main phases between Aug. 27, 2008, and May 29, 2009. Confirmation soil and groundwater samples collected after May 29, 2009, indicated the contaminant levels were below the site cleanup criteria and management of the site was turned over to the DEP. Confirmation indoor air samples collected from Alexson's Cleaners and the building across the street indicated levels below the EP's acceptable risk level.

Location: Sanford, ME
Start date: 08/27/2008
End date: 05/29/2009
Contact: Claudia Deane (deane.claudia@epa.gov)

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