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EPA Continues Cleanup of Former VT Dry Cleaners

Release Date: 07/25/2003
Contact Information: Alice Kaufman, EPA Community Involvement Office, 617-918-1064 Cory Nadler, EPA Community Affairs, (617) 918-1402

BOSTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will continue cleanup at the site of a former dry cleaners at 9 Depot Square in Barre, VT on Monday, July 28, 2003. This site was the former home to Howe Cleaners.

EPA finished sampling soil from the area, and identified an area immediately abutting the building that contains highly concentrated levels of dry cleaning contaminants in the surface and sub-surface soils. A cleanup plan has been developed which calls for the removal of the contaminated soil, and replacement with clean soil. A portion of the parking lot adjacent to the building will be closed to traffic for the duration of the removal project which is expected to take about two or three weeks to complete.

Residents should be aware that cleanup workers will be wearing white coveralls according to state and federal protection requirements. Although these protective suits attract attention, residents should not be alarmed as this is not an indication that there is an environmental danger to the surrounding neighborhoods.

The agency has allocated $336,000 for this project.

In 1999, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (VT DEC) identified the former Howe Cleaners as the source of the contaminants, which consist of common dry cleaning chemicals (tetrachloroethylene). EPA has already removed hazardous substances from two underground storage tanks beneath the building.