continued PCE is a manufactured chemical used for dry cleaning and metal degreasing. Exposure to very high concentrations of tetrachlorethylene can cause dizziness, headaches, sleepiness, confusion, nausea, difficulty in speaking and walking, unconsciousness and death.
Much of the PCE that gets into water or soil evaporates into the air. Once in the air, it is broken down by sunlight or brought back to the soil by rain. Microorganisms can break down some of the tetrachloroethylene in soil or underground water. It does not appear to collect in fish or other animals that live in water.
Troy Belting has not used the solvents in decades so there is not a lot of certainty as to the extent of contamination in the soil or when the project will start. Representatives of the company did not return calls requesting comment.
“Right now we’re doing an investigation so it could be a while. We have to determine what kind of contamination is there,” said Georgeson.
The investigation will determine the extent and seriousness of contamination in the soil, surface water and groundwater. Surface and subsurface soil will be sampled through excavation of test pits in the area. Monitors will examine groundwater wells at the bedrock surface and within the bedrock. The shale bedrock is located 4-8.5 feet below the ground surface.
More information can be found by going to www.dec.ny.gov.