Dry Cleaners

April 23, 2019

Pollution cleanups planned for two dry cleaning sites

Source: https://www.timesunion.com, April 19, 2019
By: Brian Nearing

Toxic chemicals will be dug out of two vacant former dry cleaners sites in Schenectady and Watervliet, under plans announced by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

The property around the former Admiral Cleaners, 617 19th St., Watervliet, and the former Kenwood Cleaners, 445 Duane Ave.,

Schenectady, are tainted with high levels of a carcinogenic dry cleaning solvent, tetrachloroethene (PCE), and related toxic byproducts.

Exposure to PCE likely increases cancer risk, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Primary effects from chronic, long-term inhalation exposure are neurological, including impaired cognitive and motor neurobehavioral performance, according to EPA.

PCE exposure may also “cause adverse effects in the kidney, liver, immune system and hematologic system, and on development and reproduction,” according to the EPA.

February 27, 2018

Shelburne business stuck with cleaning PCE contamination Cleaning up a 20 year PCE Contamination

Source: http://www.wcax.com, February 27, 2018
By: Taylor Young

A Shelburne business owner is warning others after he says he unknowingly purchased property contaminated with PCE.

“It’s just been challenging,” said Sean Ryan, the owner of Elegant Floors.

From 1996 to 2000, a dry cleaning business occupied his building. Ryan has a black plastic bag taped by the construction zone that reads “Jason’s Dry Cleaning.” It was found stuffed into piping under the concrete floor.

“They were literally spilling the chemicals right into this vat,” said Ryan.

Dry cleaners can use harmful chemicals, most commonly used is perchloroethylene. Officials say the chemical migrates through the soil and groundwater quickly and has negative impacts on health. According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, about 400 hazardous waste sites across Vermont are contaminated with PCE, and sometimes businesses are built right on top of a site.

Until recently, nearly 3,000 feet of soil under Ryan’s business was contaminated with PCE, all of which the state says came from Jason’s Dry Cleaning.

“They pretty much got out of this scot-free,” said Ryan.…

January 15, 2018

Modesto said chemical companies knew the groundwater was poisoned, so the city sued

Source: Modesto Bee (CA), January 14, 2018
Posted on: http://www.advisen.com

In a ruling with implications for cities across the United States, appellate justices this week rejected Modesto’s request to reinstate a $75 million judgment against a producer of toxic dry cleaning chemicals. However, the ruling also paves the way for a new trial under conditions favorable to Modesto.

City Attorney Adam Lindgren called the decision “a major victory for the city of Modesto in its long-running efforts and battle” against Dow Chemical Co. Dow claimed partial victory as well, and will consider appealing portions favoring Modesto, a company spokesman said Friday.

The ruling, dated Monday, is the latest in a legal war stretching two decades over who should be responsible for a chemical that polluted soil and groundwater under several dry cleaners sprinkled throughout Modesto.

“This case has followed a complex and tortuous path,” acknowledged First Appellate District justices Maria Rivera, Ignazio Ruvolo and Jon Streeter, in the ruling.

Modesto drinking water is safe, officials have said throughout the years, but capturing the toxic chemical in soil vapor and keeping it from reaching the aquifer is expensive.…

August 30, 2017

Lead-Based Paint Is a “Pollutant” within CGL Pollution Exclusion

Source: http://www.constructionrisk.com, August 2017
By: Kent Holland

Where lead-based paint was ingested by a tenant’s child, the tenant sued her landlord for injuries allegedly sustained by the child. The landlord tendered the claim to its commercial general liability (CGL) insurer who, instead of defending the case, filed a declaratory judgment action seeking a determination that the pollution exclusion of the CGL policy barred coverage for the alleged injuries. The Owner held that, although not specifically listed in the pollution definition as a “pollutant,” lead-based paint is, in fact, a “pollutant” within the meaning of the policy. The policy’s pollution exclusion was, therefore, applicable, and the insurer had no duty to defend and indemnify the landlord. See Georgia Farm Bureau Mut. Ins. Co. v. Smith, 298 Ga. 716, 784 S.E.2d 422 (2016).

The terms of the CGL policy required the insurer “to pay those sums that the insured becomes legally obligated to pay as damages because of ‘bodily injury’ or ‘property damage’” … “only if: (1) the ‘bodily injury’ or ‘property damage’ is caused by an ‘occurrence’ that takes place ….” An occurrence is defined as “an accident.” Coverage was subject to exclusions, including the pollution exclusion, which provided that the insurance does not apply to “(1) ‘[b]odily injury’ or ‘property damage’ arising out of the actual, alleged or threatened discharge, dispersal, seepage, migration, release or escape of ‘pollutants’: (a) [a]t or from any premises, site or location which is or was at any time owned or occupied by, or rented or loaned to, any insured.”…

February 12, 2016

Rapid cleanup sought for Marinwood’s former dry cleaner site

Source: http://www.marinij.com, February 11, 2016
By: Stephanie Weldy

Marinwood community members gathered this week to call for a faster, more aggressive approach to cleaning up contaminants from a former dry cleaner at Marinwood Plaza.

Some want more teeth in the cleanup proposal headed to regulators; many just want cleanup to get underway as soon as possible, said those who turned out Wednesday for a community meeting. The session, hosted by Supervisor Damon Connolly and the Regional Water Quality Control Board at Mary E. Silveira Elementary School, featured a proposed plan developed by Geologica, a San Francisco-based environmental consulting firm hired by the property owner responsible for cleanup. The proposal will be considered by the water board in the coming months.

PCE, or tetrachloroethylene, and its natural breakdown products, were first discovered in the neighborhood in 2007. Through soil and groundwater, the contaminants have extended from the plaza, at the site of the former Prosperity Cleaners, and underneath the freeway to Silveira Ranch.

Residents, along with Supervisor Damon Connolly, said it is time for a proper cleanup. Members of the Clean-Up Marinwood Plaza Now Oversight Committee also are pushing for a plan that presents a more aggressive approach.

“We’ve all been frustrated with how this process has been playing out,” Connolly told the audience.…

February 12, 2016

NYDEC to air remedy plan for cleaners site

Source: http://www.newsday.com, February 12, 2016
By: Lauren R. Harrison

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation plans to hold a public meeting in Commack to discuss a dry cleaners listed as a “significant threat” to public health or the environment in the state registry of inactive hazardous waste sites.

State DEC officials plan to hold the meeting on Feb. 22 to discuss a “no further action” remedy proposed for Beau Brummel Cleaners, 2049 Jericho Tpke., according to a NYDEC notice.

Soil, groundwater, sub-slab vapor and indoor air were collected at the Beau Brummel Cleaners Site as part of the DEC’s remedial investigation, in 2014 and 2015. The investigation, along with past investigations dating back to 1998 at the .25-acre site, determined the presence of tetrachloroethene (PCE), trichloroethene (TCE), and cis-1,2-dichloroethene (DCE), the notice showed.

Operations dating back to 1971 at the dry cleaner appear to have discharged tetrachloroethylene (PCE), a dry cleaning chemical, on the property, according to the notice.

The DEC’s proposed remedial action plan includes the continued operation of a soil vapor extraction system that removes subsurface vapors and prevents them from entering homes and businesses, a cover for soil on site, and a site management plan that includes periodic sampling of on-site and off-site groundwater and evaluation of indoor and outdoor air of the surrounding buildings, officials said.

The owner of the dry cleaners was not available to comment, an employee answering the phone said Wednesday.

The public meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Commack Branch of the Smithtown Library, 3 Indian Head Rd., in Commack. Members of the public may offer comments at the meeting, or send written comments to the state DEC through March 9.…

September 18, 2015

Cleanup continues at old dry cleaner

Source: http://www.wausaudailyherald.com, September 18, 2015
By: Nora G. Hertel

It doesn’t look like much is happening on the contaminated site of an old dry cleaner on Wausau’s Second Avenue. But machines have been working for the past year to clear lingering chemicals there, and neighbors will clear some overgrown foliage on the plot this weekend.

The city’s Community Development Authority owns the land at 303 S. Second Ave. — the former home of Kraft Cleaners next to a Domino’s pizza franchise.

“I’m looking forward to a day when all that space is cleaned up,” said Ann Hunger, co-owner of Travel Leaders in the Clarke Building, right next to the contaminated site. “I think the city could do more to make it look more presentable.”

Much of the near west side was categorized as blighted in 2012. And a series of stories by Daily Herald Media in July showed that while the city has plans to reinvigorate the neighborhood, residents want to see investments now to battle blight, crime and parking challenges in the area. The city has invested millions more on the east side of downtown along the Wisconsin River than on the west. After a listening session held by Daily Herald Media a group of local business leaders assembled to make their own impact.

Volunteers and organizers with the new group West Side Pride will assemble Saturday for their first neighborhood cleanup and clear some weeds from the old dry cleaning spot.

A year ago the city installed a system to draw vapors from the soil and another, larger machine was added in late spring to help said Kevin Fabel, environmental engineer for the city of Wausau.…

March 15, 2013

United States: Pennsylvania Makes Its Mark On National Chinese Drywall Coverage Dispute With "One Occurrence" Decision

Source: http://www.mondaq.com, March 12, 2013
By: Andrea Cortland, Cozen O’Connor

On February 15, 2013 a Pennsylvania federal district court held that the shipment of defective drywall from China to the United States constituted one “occurrence” for purposes of insurance coverage, and the occurrence took place when the damage caused by the drywall manifested itself in the residences or buildings of the underlying plaintiffs. With this ruling, Pennsylvania joins Virginia as one of the few states to opine regarding the number of occurrences in the Chinese drywall context.

Devon International, Devon International Industries, and Devon International Group (collectively, Devon), imported a single order of drywall from China to Pensacola, Fla. Unbeknownst to Devon, the drywall was defective, as it contained an inordinately high amount of sulfur, and a few years after selling the drywall to distributors in the United States, Devon was hit with a multitude of Chinese drywall lawsuits in various jurisdictions.

As is common with Chinese drywall cases, the plaintiffs in the underlying lawsuits generally alleged the sulfur emitted by the drywall damaged their real and personal property. Faced with these lawsuits, Devon turned to its liability insurer, Cincinnati Insurance Company (Cincinnati) to defend and indemnify it under the liability policies issued to it by Cincinnati for two consecutive policy periods. Although Cincinnati accepted Devon’s tender, the parties disagreed as to whether the underlying claims against Devon arose out of a single occurrence or multiple occurrences. Litigation between Devon and Cincinnati ensued.…

December 13, 2011

MT Superfund Cleanup May Take 30 Years

Read here about a Superfund site in Montana where contamination resulted from a former dry cleaner could take more than 30 years to clean up.…

July 12, 2011

Former Fairfax video store owners file lawsuit over toxic soil

Source: Marin Independent Journal (CA), July 11, 2011
Posted on: http://envfpn.advisen.com

A couple who formerly operated a Fairfax video store have sued the former owners of the Fair-Anselm Plaza in Fairfax, alleging that the property owners withheld information about toxic dry cleaning chemicals released at the plaza, exposing the couple to serious health risks.

George and Charlene Bianchini, who operated Broadway Video at the plaza from 1994 to 2009, have sued Matthew and Daniel Friedman, the brothers who owned the plaza before selling it to LRG Capital Real Estate Partners in May 2009.

Both the Bianchinis and the Friedmans declined to comment on the pending litigation.

The suit, filed in May in Marin Superior Court, alleges that prior to and during the Bianchinis’ tenancy, dry cleaning business tenants at the Fair-Anselm Plaza spilled and improperly disposed of perchloroethylene, or PCE, a colorless liquid used as an industrial solvent — particularly by dry cleaners — and classified as a probable cancer agent by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.…