Clean-up going on at the cleaners

By Paige Nash

Corrective clean-up efforts have begun at the defunct Imperial Cleaners and Laundry location at 211 Pennsylvania Avenue, finally. 

According to spokesperson with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Equality (LDEQ) Remedial Division Celeste Bonnecaze, Atlas Technical Consultants, LLC was contracted out by the state to complete the interim corrective action plan for the impacted soil in the area.  

She said, “The remediation started the week of June 5 to address the area in the alley way located on the northwestern side of the former dry cleaners building.  Soil excavation has been completed, and the vapor barrier has been installed.” 

Previous site investigations reported large concentrations of toxins were present with the highest detected toxin in the soil gas results being tetrachloroethylene and trichloroethylene. The presence of these toxins has a potential for off-site vapor input. These chemicals are sometimes used as a solvent in dry cleaning businesses. In this case the solvent containing these chemicals was not properly disposed of, being flushed down a drain at Imperial Cleaners while they were in operation. 

The Atlas personnel evacuated approximately 100 cubic yards of contaminated soil in the alleyway on the northwest side of the building, where the numbers were the highest. Following the removal of soil and the installation of a vapor barrier, the soil was moved into roll off boxes provided by Code 3 Services, LLC out of Eldorado, Ark.  

The roll off containers will be removed this week.  Also, the temporary fence will be removed,” said Bonnecaze. 

The roll-off containers will be transported from the site and sent to Magnolia Landfill in Monroe.  

According to a Field Interview form that was completed during the corrective activities, soil sampling was taken and will be used to document the remaining soil concentrations. The excavation did not necessarily cover the extent of the contamination. 

The LDEQ will continue to monitor this situation and further remedial action may be taken if necessary. 

This private property is owned by the Taylor family of Minden who previously ran the dry-cleaning business before its closure. The Taylor family has yet to comment on the situation, but a Notice of Lien was filed by the LDEQ at the Webster Parish Clerk of Courts Office in the amount of $291,547.12 for the recovery of remedial costs. This notice was mailed to William Taylor of Minden, Robert Taylor of Burleson, Tx, Cassandra Taylor Wigley of Covington and Assest Acceptance’s Legal Division in Baton Rouge.