Is no news good news?

Canister in front of Headstart building on the corner of Gleason and Murrell streets

By Paige Nash 

Leaaf Environmental, LLC was back in Minden yesterday (Tuesday) morning. They have been in the neighborhood of Gleason and Murrell streets, as well as Pennsylvania Ave. on and off conducting air quality tests over the last month, but no new reports have been released at this time. 

Leaaf is the company contracted by Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) to investigate the toxin levels surrounding the inoperative Imperial Cleaners building located at 211 Pennsylvania Ave in Minden. They have previously taken samples of soil, groundwater and indoor/ambient air from the vicinity of the building, surrounding businesses and residents.  

Results from samples taken showed large concentrations of toxins inside the building and surrounding the cleaners. With the highest detected levels in the alleyway, immediately west of the warehouse.  This led them to believe that there was off-site contamination, as well. This was proven to be true.  

Multiple businesses including Pink Magnolia, Bobbies Hobbies, Wise Dancenter, First Baptist Church, Webster Parish Community Services, Webster Parish Headstart, Minden’s Finest Storage, Minden Press-Herald and a few nearby residences had samples of soil gas and groundwater taken. Leaff’s report noted the presence of at least 25 different contaminants. 

Many events have taken place between now and then. A letter from LDEQ posted on the front door of these businesses, a public health notice released by Louisiana Department of Health, many concerns voiced by owners and employees of the surrounding businesses, and disgruntled parents of children in nearby daycare centers. Leaff was finally back on-site conducting air quality testing in the area surrounding the cleaners.  

It was stated in LDH’s public health notice that the contaminants present in the soil and groundwater have the potential to produce vapors that can enter a building through cracks in the foundation, around pipes or through a drain system. If this process of vapor intrusion has occurred in the nearby buildings, it could present health concerns.  

We will remain on standby until the air quality testing is complete and reports are released by LDEQ.  

Canister on the side of the Minden Press-Herald building on Gleason Street.

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