Ballston Spa

EPA conducts new tests at former Ballston Spa dry cleaners

Results will determine if more will be needed
Rickett's Laundry and Dry Cleaners, on Route 50 in Ballston Spa, is pictured Thursday.
Rickett's Laundry and Dry Cleaners, on Route 50 in Ballston Spa, is pictured Thursday.

BALLSTON SPA  — The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) returned to the site of the former Rickett’s Laundry and Dry Cleaners on Route 50 in Ballston Spa this week to conduct a second round of testing. 

The EPA first collected air samples last February at 50 properties near the former dry cleaners to determine if any had been impacted by vapor intrusion.

According to an EPA newsletter, vapor intrusion occurs when chemicals or petroleum products are spilled or leaked in quantities that allow them to seep deep into the ground. Vapors can pose a health risk if they move through soil and seep through cracks in basements, foundations and sewer lines.

The 2017 air samples revealed the chemicals detected were, “significantly below EPA’s established target levels.” 

On Thursday, representatives from the EPA finished collecting air samples from 11 homes that were previously sampled in an effort to determine whether there had been any changes in the conditions since last year’s testing. 

The EPA tested for the same chemicals this week, including trichloroethene, tetrachloroethene, and vinyl chloride. 

If any structures have been impacted by vapor intrusion, the EPA will give property owners the option to install mitigation systems that they will maintain. The system would eliminate toxic vapors that get into homes through basements or foundations. 

Elias Rodriguez, a spokesman for the EPA, said the agency would decide whether to conduct another round of testing at the site based on results of this week’s sampling.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation first launched an investigation of pollution from the dry cleaners and designated the site as a potential State Superfund in July 2017, after receiving information that hazardous waste may have been disposed there.

Benning DeLaMater, spokesman for the DEC, said state continues to investigate contamination at the site “and will work quickly to remediate potential sources of contamination once identified to protect public health and the environment.”

He added that a DEC contractor is preparing a report summarizing the findings of the investigation, which will determine the next steps and if the site will be added to the State’s Superfund Registry. 

Categories: -News-, Schenectady County

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