reports a CVS pharmacy that is supposed to be built where 16th Street and South Street intersect, will be delayed due to soil contamination.
The culprit is tetrachlorethene, another name for tetrachloroethylene, and a widely used chemical for dry-cleaning fabrics and for degreasing metal, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The substance makes people dizzy, sleepless and nauseated and causes confusion, difficulty walking, unconsciousness and death in concentrated doses, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. It is found in more than half of the EPA's National Priorities List sites.
Soil contamination halts new CVS pharmacy
In this case there was a dry cleaning establishment located on the proposed CVS site back in the 1980s. The groundwater has a 300-foot plume of the contaminant traveling west and southwest and has higher concentrations of the chemical in the soil that what standards allow. Gas vapors also exceed minimum standards.
A remediation plan will have to be put in place before construction of the CVS can begin. Along with ongoing groundwater monitoring to ensure the contamination doesn't increase, the land there will be restricted to only commercial or industrial use and water wells will not be allowed. As usual, the public can comment on the plan but barring any major objection approval is expected by the end of September.