Imperial Cleaners corrective plan of action to be determined

By Paige Nash

During a site investigation conducted May 18 at the defunct Imperial Cleaners and Laundry, a rusted 55-gallon drum was discovered at the east corner of the warehouse portion of the building.  

 A work plan was prepared by Leaaf Environmental for the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) following this site investigation. It states that this drum contained rainwater and an oily yellow liquid. There also appeared to be dark soil staining the ground in the area surrounding the ground. 

 According to this plan, Leaaf personnel will be collecting a sample from the drum and the stained soil to determine whether the spill has impacted the surrounding soil and future removal. Once it is approved, the drum will be pumped out into another drum. The old drum will then be triple rinsed. The new drum, rinse water and old drum will then be transported for proper disposal.  

The stained soil will be shoveled into a 55-gallon drum, to be sampled for hazardous contaminants.  

This is only one portion of their complete project strategy, which also includes, determining contaminant of concern concentrations by collecting indoor/ambient air and groundwater samples.  

Leaaf has been conducting site sampling in a tiered approach, with a total of three tiers, based on proximity to the Imperial Cleaners building and presence of sensitive populations. The indoor air sampling that took place on July 19 wrapped up the Tier 2 locations, which were Minden Press-Herald, Minden’s Finest Storage, Webster Parish Head Start Office and Allen L. Holland – CPA Office. 

“The lab conducting the analysis of constituents is in New Jersey. The lab results will then be validated by a third-party company. The Louisiana Department of Health will also review the results and provide guidance,” said Celeste Bonnecaze, team leader of the Remediation Division with LDEQ. “The complete review can take 4 to 8 weeks. Once all reviews are completed, the confirmed information will be provided.” 

Tier 3 locations include Speer Roofing & Construction, Surgery and Endo Associates, ER Automotive and a residence located on Pennsylvania Avenue.  

After all samples are completed and test results are reviewed by all involved parties, they will together determine a corrective action plan to eliminate the problem, implement corrective action, then continue to monitor the situation to confirm and verify the corrective action has eliminated the problem. LDEQ does not have a projected cost of clean-up at this time, and they will not until they receive the final test results verifying the extent of the situation.  

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