Thursday, March 1, 2012

Vapor Intrusion Sampling Continues in Clearfield

By: Duane Criag

Since the discovery of a plume of groundwater contamination in Clearfield, Utah, 168 homes have been sampled for indoor chemical vapors, according to an article in the Standard-Examiner. Every year since 2003, a certain number of the 300-350 homes in the area have been sampled for the vapors.

From the end of World War II into the 1960s, nearby Hill Air Force Base disposed of trichloroethylene, or TCE, and tetrachloroethylene, or PCE, onsite, leading to a plume of groundwater contamination that covers approximately 142 acres. There are two levels of groundwater affected—the shallow level is contaminated with TCE and PCE, while the deeper level is contaminated with just TCE.

The base monitors the situation and does the testing, and it recently assured the residents that there is nothing to be concerned about because the groundwater that is affected is not used for drinking. The major concern, according to the government, is the potential for vapor intrusion when the vapors from the chemicals make their way through cracks in foundations and into the airspace of the homes. Surprisingly, according to the city manager, many people don’t have the testing done.

The base is supposed to choose a cleanup option by February 2014.

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