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Marketing & Communications

Posted on: May 24, 2022

EPA Reassessing Former Dry Cleaner Site

The Environmental Protection Agency informed city and county officials Wednesday that it is seeking permission to collect air samples in some buildings in the Ogburn Station Shopping Center to determine the status of the air quality in them. 

At issue is the building at 4332 Old Walkertown Road that formerly housed a dry cleaning business, and two shopping center buildings immediately to the north and west.

Two types of mitigation systems were installed at the shopping center between 2010 and 2013, with assistance from the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, due to a build-up of tetrachloroethene (PCE) and trichloroethene (TCE) in the soil under the buildings. Vapors from the chemicals were seeping into the buildings. 

Once the mitigation systems were turned on the air quality in the buildings improved significantly. According to state records, the systems were turned off in September 2015 due to noticeable reductions in chemical levels in the soil. Testing in October 2015 and March 2016 showed a rebound in vapor concentrations, but within acceptable limits. 

EPA representatives told the city this week that there is no data to indicate that the air quality in these buildings is hazardous. However, due to any lack of testing in recent years, the agency wants to reassess the air quality in the buildings. An agency representative is scheduled to meet with the property owner next week to arrange for new testing.

The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality recently sent letters to five property owners who have wells in the area, seeking permission to test their well water. 

City and county officials are in regular contact with EPA and DEQ officials in order to stay informed of the situation.

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