Walden Environmental Engineering (Walden) was retained as the environmental consultant for a dry-cleaning operator located in a suburban Long Island community to help the owner gain entry to New York State’s Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) and maintain the on-site remedial system.  The entire Site, including the parking lot, is approximately 10,500 square feet, which the owner intends to keep using as a dry-cleaning operation. The surrounding properties are currently zoned for use as business and residential properties.

A faulty dry-cleaning machine that was used by the previous owner of the business was removed and replaced a number of years ago. Contaminant releases from the old machine impacted subsurface soils at the Site. Tetrachloroethene (PCE) and its degradation by-product Trichloroethene (TCE) are the primary contaminants of concern at this Site. There have been no releases from the new dry cleaner machine which replaced the former machine.

Historic investigations conducted at the Site concluded that there were high concentrations of PCE and TCE in the sub-slab soil samples. However, there was no indication of contamination from samples taken outside of the building. A later soil vapor investigation conducted in the paved parking lot and beneath the dry-cleaner’s building found PCE and TCE in soil vapor samples collected on the property, and confirmed the presence of petroleum hydrocarbons (BTEX) in outdoor samples from the parking lot. Based on these results an on-site soil vapor extraction (SVE) system was installed by the owner to prevent soil vapor intrusion into the on-site building and interior tenant spaces on the adjacent property.

The SVE system continues to operate at the property. Walden provides operation and maintenance services to ensure that the SVE system effectively meets the remedial action objectives to prevent further off-site migration of impacted soil vapors and to prevent or limit human exposure to contaminants at the property.  Walden coordinates carbon drum replacement as needed to remove VOCs from soil vapor extracted by the SVE system and monitors VOC concentrations in air entering and exiting the carbon drum.

In 2020, Walden prepared an application on behalf of the owner seeking to incorporate the property into the Brownfield Cleanup Program in order to complete site investigation and remediation activities and take advantage of the tax breaks afforded under the program. Once the property is accepted into the BCP and the Brownfields Cleanup Agreement (BCA) is finalized, Walden will prepare a Remedial Investigation Work Plan that will include a detailed project schedule for an additional on-site investigation and remediation if necessary.  The remedial program is expected to start immediately after the NYSDEC executes the BCA and the Certificate of Completion is anticipated within approximately 18 months after that.