Ballston Spa

DEC starts Superfund investigation in Ballston Spa

The former Rickett's Laundry and Dry Cleaners, on Route 50 in Ballston Spa. File Photo

The former Rickett's Laundry and Dry Cleaners, on Route 50 in Ballston Spa. File Photo

Categories: News, Saratoga County

BALLSTON SPA — The state Department of Environmental Conservation will conduct a detailed environmental study of the contaminated Rickett’s Dry Cleaners site to determine what kind of cleanup should take place, and if one is needed, the agency announced.

DEC said it will soon begin a detailed study of the 1.4-acre site on Doubleday Avenue at the north end of the village, which will include soil borings to identify the locations of the on-site contamination, collection of air and soil samples, installation of monitoring wells, and digging of test pits.

The site is known to be contaminated with tetrachloroethene (TCE) and its byproducts. TCE is frequently associated with dry cleaning operations.

The Rickett’s location was used for dry cleaning and laundry for at least four decades, but it went out of operation in about 2013. The site has been known to be contaminated since late 2017.

The DEC classifies the property as a Class 2 Superfund location, meaning it represents a significant threat to public health. The study will determine more about the nature and extent of contamination and what should be done to address it, DEC said. A draft cleanup plan would then be developed that would include a recommended cleanup and estimated cost.

DEC first identified Rickett’s as a potential pollution site in 2017. The next year the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency did air sampling in nearby buildings, which EPA officials said didn’t find high enough contamination levels to warrant any further EPA action. The site was added to the state Superfund program list, however.

A number of former dry cleaning businesses across the Capital Region are also on the state Superfund list for similar reasons, having to due with the leaching of dry cleaning chemicals into the soil.

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