Dry Cleaner Testing

Partner Engineering and Science, Inc. publishes many websites in an attempt to help educate the real estate community on the environmental due diligence that takes place during the commercial real estate transaction process.

Dry Cleaner Storefront

While a dry cleaners presence in a shopping center can be an anchor for other businesses, the presence of one can expose the land owner to a wealth of environmental risk. There are many things that a land owner can do to help minimize this risk. Partner Engineering and Science, Inc. is able to help land owners develop a plan to minimize this risk.

With the numerous chemicals that are used during the dry cleaning process, there are a laundry list of potential environmental issues and liabilities. Throughout the years, dry cleaners have used kerosene, benzene and petroleum naptha as dry cleaning solvents. Between 1930 and 1960, carbon tetrachloride and trichloroethylene (TCE) was also used. Around 1950, petroleum naptha was replaced by Perchloreoethylene (PCE). While Freon 113 and 1,1,1-trichloroethane (TCA) was used briefly between 1960 and 1980, PCE remains the most widely used dry cleaning solvent. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), approximately 90% of dry cleaners are still using PCE as of 2004.

Dry Cleaner Equipment

The use of dry cleaning solvents has been linked to soil and groundwater contamination through many means. Contamination can occur from the most obvious, spillage, to the least obvious, leakage from old sewer lines that service the dry cleaner. Because of these risks, dry cleaner soil testing or soil testing for PCE (Perc) may be required.

There are steps that can be taken to minimize the risk a dry cleaner places on property acquisitions. Partner has performed hundreds of inspections to help our clients minimize this risk. A thorough Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) should be done prior to acquisition of the property. Partner is able to look at the historical background of a property in order to fully assess the environmental liability of a land or building owner. When looking at the background of a property, it is important to consider the presence of an active dry cleaner or a past dry cleaner. Older dry cleaners have the potential for more contamination due to the type of machines that were used. Older machines were less efficient at not releasing dry cleaning solvents.

If during the historical background check it is found that a dry cleaner was onsite, than a Phase II ESA, aka Dry Cleaner Phase II, should be conducted. Partner is able to develop a plan to fully assess the amount of remediation that may be required and can then develop a strategic plan to complete the remediation fully.

For complete details on how Partner can help guide you through the process of getting a Dry Cleaner Environmental Report and the many other services that Partner provides, visit Partner Engineering and Science's main website.

Partner Dry Cleaner/Solvent Subsurface Investigations and Remediation

Summary Client Regulatory Oversight Name/Location of Project Description of Environmental Services Performed
PCE Release Characterization, Remediation via Soil Vapor Extraction Confidential Client None Shopping Center - Los Angeles, CA Partner was engaged to characterize a release of tetrachloroethylene (PCE) to the shallow soils and remediate the site. Partner negotiated remedial levels based on groundwater protective Site Screening Levels and human health protective California Human Health Screening Levels (CHHSLs). Partner installed a Soil Vapor Extraction (SVE) unit. The SVE unit was located relatively near a school. Therefore, Partner conducted a community notification program consistent with requirements of the National Contingency Plan and developed a soil abatement program in order to minimize the noise impact to the school and the other tenants of the shopping center. The soil vapor extraction unit successfully removed 99% of the PCE in the vadose zone.
ISCO Remediation of PCE and cis-1,2-DCE Confidential Client Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board (LA RWQCB) Data Company - Los Angeles, CA The site formerly operated three underground storage tanks (USTs) containing waste oil, cutting oil, and degreasing solvents, respectively. A release of chlorinated solvents, primarily tetrachloroethene (PCE) and cis-1,2-dichloroethene (cis-1,2-DCE), subsequently occurred and impacted underlying soil and groundwater. The site has undergone remediation via high-vacuum dual-phase extraction (HVDPE). Partner conducted groundwater monitoring and completed a Remedial Action Plan to address residual soil and groundwater contamination via in-situ chemical oxidation (ISCO) treatment with potassium permanganate. Partner conducted ISCO treatment, and subsequent confirmation sampling which indicated that the treatment was effective in reducing contaminant concentrations. Partner is currently conducting quarterly monitoring and reporting of this site, and is preparing for a second round of ISCO to address residual soil and groundwater contamination.
Soil Vapor Extraction system and Quarterly Status Reports Confidential Client Site Mitigation Unit, Health Hazardous Materials Division, County of Los Angeles Fire Department Dry Cleaner - Grenada Hills, CA Partner completed a Remedial Action Plan in 2007, which recommended a Soil Vapor Extraction System. Partner subsequently installed the SVE system and continues to operate and maintain the system, perform quarterly monitoring and complete Quarterly Status Reports for this site.
PCE Release Characterization and Remedial Over-Excavation Confidential Client San Francisco Bay Region WQCB Former Dry Cleaner - Hayward, CA Partner performed Site Characterization of a release of PCE to soils, and subsequently remediated the site by over-excavating the impacted soils underneath the building through the interior of the building. The case received closure in January 2012.
PCE Subsurface Investigation and Remedial Action Plan Confidential Client Health Hazardous Materials Division, County of Los Angeles Fire Department Shopping Center - Pacific Palisades, CA Partner completed Subsurface Investigation activities to delineate PCE contamination in soils. To date extent of the contamination has not been delineated. Indoor air samples revealed PCE and trichloroethylene (TCE); PCE was detected above the commercial / industrial land use California Human Health Screening Levels. Based on the potential human health risk an Interim Remedial Action Plan was submitted recommending SVE as the remedial action. Groundwater monitoring wells will be installed during the next phase of site investigation.
Chlorinated Solvent Subsurface Investigation Confidential Client None Office Center -Parsippany, NJ Partner conducted Subsurface Investigation activities at a commercial office space with a chlorinated solvent release underneath the building from a former solvent underground storage tank (UST). Soil and groundwater impacts, primarily PCE and TCE, were identified and further investigation will be required to delineate the release. Partner also conducted a Limited Soil Vapor Investigation which indicated the potential for indoor air quality impacts. Indoor air quality sampling was recommended.
PCE Release Characterization Confidential Client None Shopping Center / Dry Cleaner -Scottsdale, AZ Partner performed Site Characterization of a release of PCE to soils. Partner recommended additional characterization sampling, as well as a pilot test for the use of SVE for remediation.
Solvent Release Characterization and Groundwater Pump and Treat Confidential Client South Carolina Department of Environmental Control (SCDHEC) Manufacturing Plant - Cheraw, SC Completed Comprehensive Site Assessment to delineate chlorinated solvent impacted groundwater. Completed Remedial Action Plan and selected and implemented groundwater pump and treat for Remedial Action. Requires ongoing operation and maintenance and quarterly monitoring.
Preliminary Site Assessment and Dual Phase Extraction North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR) NCDENR Dry Cleaning Solvent Cleanup Act (DSCA) Dry Cleaner - Kernersville, NC Completed Preliminary Site Assessment including soil and groundwater sampling, soil gas sampling, receptor survey and risk assessment. Completed remedial design and implemented Dual Phase Extraction for treatment of groundwater and soil vapor. Requires ongoing operation and maintenance and quarterly monitoring.
Solvent Release Characterization and Dual Phase Extraction Confidential Client South Carolina Department of Environmental Control (SCDHEC) Manufacturing Plant - Spartanburg, SC Completed Comprehensive Site Assessment to delineate chlorinated solvent impacted soil and groundwater. Completed Remedial Action Plan and selected and implemented Dual Phase Extraction for Remedial Action, treatment of impacted groundwater and soil vapors. Requires ongoing operation and maintenance and quarterly monitoring.
Preliminary Site Assessment, Excavation and Enhanced Natural Attenuation NCDENR NCDENR - DSCA Plaza - Ayden, NC Completed Preliminary Site Assessment including soil and groundwater sampling, soil gas sampling, receptor survey and risk assessment. Based on site redevelopment, conducted excavation of impacted soils and introduced Hydrogen Release Compound to enhance natural attenuation of the impacted groundwater. Continued groundwater monitoring.
Preliminary Site Assessment, Sub-Slab Depressurization System NCDENR NCDENR - DSCA Dry Cleaner - Kernersville, NC Completed Preliminary Site Assessment including soil and groundwater sampling, soil gas sampling, sub-slab sampling, indoor air monitoring, receptor survey and risk assessment. Based on vapor intrusion issues, designed and installed a Sub-Slab Depressurization System.
Risk Assessment, Modeling and Litigation Support Confidential Client Dry Cleaner - Moreno Valley, California Partner provided Phase I, Phase II, and Phase III Environmental Site Assessments on a dry cleaner release at the property. A Remedial Cost Estimate was prepared to support the real estate transaction. Later, Partner provided modeling and risk assessment in support of a lawsuit. Mr. Derhake testified at the trial in January of 2008.
Subsurface Investigation Confidential Client LA RWQCB Former Dry Cleaners, Los Angeles, CA Partner performed a Subsurface Investigation of a former dry cleaner site with chlorinated solvents impact to soil, to successfully delineate the contamination plume. SOW included analysis of soil and soil-gas samples. Also completed a Site Conceptual Model and a Site-Specific Human Health Risk Assessment Report issued to the LA RWQCB.
Remedial Cost Estimate Confidential Client Former Dry Cleaners, Pinole, CA Partner prepared a remedial cost estimate and several remedial options for the client’s consideration.