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EPA sets plan to monitor water for town of Jackson, Wyoming

Release Date: 9/29/2004
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      Denver -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality and the Town of Jackson have hired the URS Operating Services, Inc., Superfund Technical Assessment and Response Team (START2) to complete a long-term groundwater monitoring plan for the town of Jackson, Wyo.

      The plan is designed to assist and guide the town in its groundwater monitoring activities after low-level tetrachloroethylene (PCE) contamination was found in the Virginian Lane and Gregory Lane areas in testing conducted during the summer and fall of 2002 and 2003.

      The town's drinking water, which comes from several wells in various locations, is tested regularly, and PCE has never been found in the water supply.

      PCE is a manufactured chemical widely used for dry cleaning of fabrics, metal degreasing and taxidermy.

      Installation, sampling, testing and monitoring of the groundwater wells near the area of contamination began in July 2004 and will be conducted quarterly for the first year. At the end of the first year the town of Jackson, Wyoming DEQ and EPA will review and discuss the results and determine how best to proceed with monitoring activities. Monitoring locations will be reviewed at least annually and more frequently if rapid changes occur. These reviews will be available to the public at the Teton County Library.

      "The public is safe. These reviews are to ensure the contamination is not increasing, nor moving." Gwen Christiansen, EPA Region 8 Site Assessment Manager .

      Over the past two years, several groundwater sampling events have been conducted by EPA and the Wyoming DEQ to attempt to further identify the extent of the contamination and its possible sources. No one source of the PCE has been definitively identified. It is probable that because of the large area and the relatively low levels of PCE, there have been several sources that contributed to the PCE groundwater contamination over time.

      When initial testing revealed low level PCE contamination in some older, private wells in certain areas in Jackson, Wyo., those residents using water from those wells were given the option to connect to town water.

      To read the Town of Jackson's annual Water Quality Report for drinking water, go to the town's website at