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Continental Cleaners


Former Continental Cleaners dry cleaning facility.

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Site Summary Profile
EPA ID: FLD982130098  
Location: Miami, Miami-Dade County, FL
Lat/Long: 25.831842, -80.210178
Congressional District:15
NPL Status: Proposed: 09/16/11, Final 3/15/12
Affected Media: Soil and Ground water
Cleanup Status: EPA is planning a thorough investigation of the site
Human Exposure Under Control: Yes
Ground water Migration Under Control: No
Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use: No
Site Reuse/Redevelopment:Inactive
Site Manager: Barbara Alfano (alfano.barbara@epa.gov)

Current Site Status

The Continental Cleaners site includes the area where a dry cleaning facility operated from 1967 to 2005 and the groundwater contaminated from the cleaning operations.  EPA  placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in March 2012 because of contaminated soil and ground water resulting from dry cleaning activities. Site contamination does not currently threaten people living and working near the site. Residents and businesses near the site use the public water system for drinking water. EPA and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) have conducted investigations at the site and will be conducting further investigations to determine the extent of contamination resulting from the release of site-related chemicals.

Site Location and Background

The former dry cleaning facility is located 798 NW 62nd St. on the southeast corner property at the intersection of NW 62nd Street and NW 8th Avenue in the Liberty City neighborhood in Miami, Florida. The former dry cleaning facility property is less than an acre in size and includes  a single-story, 2,400-square-foot building built in 1938, an asphalt parking lot in front of the building and a grass back yard. The back yard is fenced with locked access gates. Currently the property is not being used and the building is vacant.  Commercial, residential and community uses surround the site. The Belafonte Tacolcy Center, a community center, is located across the street to the west.  

Continental Cleaners operated a laundry and dry cleaning services facility at the site from 1967 until about 2005. A previous owner may have used the property as a gas station or repair shop. In the 1990s, local officials identified the release of dry cleaning chemicals to the ground and ground water. Since then, numerous studies have documented tetrachloroethylene (also known as PCE or PERC), a common dry cleaning solvent, and its breakdown products in the soil and ground water at the site. FDEP determined that the site was ineligible to participate in the state Drycleaning Solvent Cleanup Program  due to gross negligence at the site. FDEP and EPA hen  evaluated the site for the Superfund program.  


View site location map.

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Threats and Contaminants

Investigations at the site found contamination in soil and ground water from dry cleaning operations. Contaminants of concern include PCE, trichloroethylene (TCE),  cis-1,2-dichloroethene (DCE) and vinyl chloride. TCE , DCE and vinyl chloride are breakdown products of PCE. The levels of these volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in ground water significantly exceed state and federal drinking water standards. Site contamination does not threaten people living and working near the site. Residents and businesses near the site use the public water system for drinking water. 

In 2011, EPA conducted a soil gas study. Based on the study's results, EPA determined that vapor intrusion into nearby buildings is not a threat. EPA held a public meeting at the local community center to discuss the sampling results with the community.

What You Should Know about Vapor Intrusion fact sheet (PDF)(2 pp, 90K, About PDF)

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Investigation and Cleanup Responsibility / Oversight

EPA typically conducts groundwater studies in phases, collecting samples from the source area and then moving further away as far as the contamination may be found to have migrated. The first sample collection for the Remedial Investigation was in June 2012 and focused on the soil and groundwater on the former dry cleaning property. Dry cleaning solvents were found at levels above cleanup target levels in both the soil and groundwater. In January 2013, groundwater samples were collected in the neighborhood around the facility and contaminants such as PCE, TCE and vinyl chloride were found to have migrated north of the facility. In June 2013, groundwater samples were collected even further north. Seven blocks north of the facility, vinyl chloride was still being found in the groundwater above its cleanup level. In September 2013, fourteen permanent monitoring wells were installed and sampled. This phased strategy allowed EPA to use its funds effectively and collect sufficient data to determine the most appropriate cleanup option. The results of all of sampling efforts were included in the February 2014 Draft Remedial Investigation Report. Potential cleanup options will be presented in the upcoming Feasibility Study Report. EPA leads the remedial investigation and cleanup activities, in cooperation with FDEP.

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Site Cleanup Plan

The Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study Reports will be made available to the community and presented in a public meeting. EPA will also propose a cleanup plan, the Proposed Plan Fact Sheet, based on these reports and share it with the community for comment. It is expected that the studies will be complete and the cleanup plan selected by the end of 2014 or early 2015.

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Cleanup Progress

EPA is in the remedial investigation stage of the Superfund process. Cleanup will begin after the community has commented on the proposed cleanup plan and funding is made available.

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Enforcement Activities

EPA has used federal funds for site investigations to date. EPA will continue to  use federal funds to complete the investigation  and clean up the site. The site's potentially responsible party is unable to pay for the site's cleanup.

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Community Involvement

EPA  is working in the community to investigate the nature and extent of contamination at the site since  the groundwater sampling is being conducted in a residential area. EPA and its contractors are  discussing the activities with the residents.  EPA will develop a long-range cleanup plan, which reflects the Agency's commitment to safe, healthy communities and environmental protection that reflects community input. Community engagement and public outreach are core components of EPA program activities.

EPA is  conducting a range of community involvement activities at the site to provide information and solicit community input about site activities throughout the Superfund process. At each sampling event, EPA and its contractors hand out fact sheets to interested neighbors.  In addition,  fact sheets are also distributed door-to-door,postcards are mailed, and availability sessions are held in the community center. EPA has  published fact sheets  in English and Spanish. 

EPA has hosted  public meetings to inform the community about sampling results in 2011 and 2012.  

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Future Work

EPA will be at the site to sample the  ground water in September 2013 and to conduct the cleanup in 2014 or 2015.  Groundwater will need to be monitored after the cleanup to ensure the levels decrease to protective levels below cleanup levels. 

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Additional Information

EPA keeps additional site documents and information in a site information repository at the location below. EPA also posts site documents, when available, on EPA's CERCLIS Site Profile page. For documents not available on the website, please contact the Region 4 Freedom of Information Office.

Site Repository

Belafonte Tacolcy Center
6161 NW 9th Avenue 
Miami, FL  33127

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