Clean-up at former Cleanerama

— The former dry cleaner Cleanerama on Osborne Road in Loudonville was recently declared a superfund site by the New York State department of environmental conservation.

The site at 253 Osborne Rd. at the intersection of Osborne Road and Albany Shaker Road was added to the state’s superfund registry as a Class 2 site that “presents significant threat to public health and/or the environment” because of soil, groundwater and soil vapor that contains levels tetrachloroethene that exceed standards.

“The goal is to clean the property and either have it removed from the superfund list all together or at least get to a class 4 site, which means just continue monitoring it,” said Rick Georgeson of the DEC.

Georgeson said tetrachloroethene is related to dry cleaning operations. Cleanerama operated from 1960-95. Georgeson said it’s too early in the environmental investigation to determine the full nature of contamination.

Peter Constantakes of the department of health said the site could pose a health risk to the public if there is off-site soil vapor intrusion, which means the compound seeps up through the soil and infiltrates the air in neighbors’ homes.

“What we do in cases like this is do testing to see if there’s any intrusion and if there is something that can be addressed, generally we can address the source and can put filters that will take care of the problem,” said Constantakes.

There’s no threat of contaminated drinking water because residents are served by a public water supply, not drinking the local groundwater, according to the DEC.

Soil vapor, also known as “soil gas,” is the air found between soil particles and can enter buildings through cracks in basement floors or walls, openings around sump pumps or where pipes and electrical wires pass through the foundation or heating, ventilation or air conditioning systems could draw it in, according to the DOH.

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