U.S. EPA Contaminated Site Cleanup Information (CLU-IN)

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. EPA Technology Innovation and Field Services Division

State Coalition for Remediation of Drycleaners Site Profiles

Cox's One Hour Martinizing, Portland, Oregon

Historical activity that resulted in contamination.

The former Cox's One Hour Martinizing Drycleaner site is located in a mixed residential-commercial zone in Portland, OR. A Cox's One Hour Martinizing Drycleaner operated at this site between 1987 and 1998. Another drycleaner operated at this site for approximately 15 years prior to Cox's. The current operator is Wash World. Nature's Fresh, a specialty grocery store, identified low-level PCE groundwater contamination during a due diligence Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessment, and subsequent renovation of the property. The investigations suggested that prior to 1982, disposal of PCE to the catch basin behind the building may have lead to the contamination. The drycleaner solution released to storm water basins may have then leaked into the soil and groundwater. Additional investigations, however, revealed a second catch basin that had been covered by asphalt. Higher levels of PCE contamination were detected by this catch basin. The former Cox's One Hour Martinizing applied to participate in OR DEQ's Dry Cleaner program, and was accepted.

Contaminants present and the highest amount detected in both soil and groundwater.

Contaminant Media Concentration (ppb) Nondetect
Tetrachloroethene (PCE) groundwater 32.7 ppb
Tetrachloroethene (PCE) soil 25,000,000 ppb

Site Hydrology

Deepest Significant Groundwater Contamination:  
Plume Size:  
Average Depth to Groundwater:   150ft

Lithology and Subsurface Geology

Depth: 0-5ft bgs
5ft thick
Conductivity: 0.09ft/day
  sandy silts or silty sands
Depth: 5-14ft bgs
9ft thick

Pathways and DNAPL Presence

checkDNAPL Present

Remediation Scenario

Cleanup Goals:
  The OR DEQ seeks to remove the contaminant mass from the source area and protect or mitigate threats to human health or the environment. Project managers will select a
final remedy that reduces VOC contamination below site-specific, risk-based concentration levels.


In Situ Soil Vapor Extraction

Why the technology was selected:
The site conditions and contamination were amenable to SVE, which is an unobtrusive and cost effective technology.

Date implemented:
Summer 1997

Final remediation design:
The subsurface of the SVE system contains six SVE wells screened at depths ranging from 5-40 ft bgs, and 2-inch PVC piping linking each well to the remediation compound enclosure. Two blowers apply a vacuum to the SVE wells. The recovered air and vapors are discharged to the atmosphere through a stack extended above the existing dry cleaner building.

Results to date:
The SVE system removed approximately 170 gal. of PCE after 1 year of operation. Most recent sampling results reveal PCE concentrations at about 5 mg/kg. PCE concentrations rebounded within the first few months of SVE operation, but then consistently decreased. SVE system removal rates peaked at approximately 12.4 pounds per day within the first six months of operation. Removal rates have decreased to insignificant amounts. The SVE system was decommissioned in 2002 due to low VOC recovery rates. Confirmation sampling showed pocket of contamination ~20 feet below ground surface adjacent to a catch basin next to the building loading dock.

Next Steps:
Additional air monitoring for risk assessment needed prior to project closeout. Encapsulation of subsurface soil contamination is being considered. No work is currently being conducted.

Cost to Design and Implement:
SVE Testing & Design $33,800 Construction,Pipe Installation, Electrical, Catch Basin Sediment Removal $15,994.91 SVE equipment/installation $9,948.07 SVE set up $2,418.80 Quarterly Reporting (8 rpts) $1,940

Ex Situ Soil Removal

Next Steps:
Additional air monitoring for risk assessment needed prior to project closeout. Encapsulation of subsurface soil contamination is being considered. No work is currently being conducted.


Cost for Assessment:
  $27,522.57 (subsurface characterizationand well installation)
Cost for Operation and Maintenance:
  (2 years) $3,446.25
Total Costs for Cleanup:

Lessons Learned

1. It is important to carefully review historic construction diagrams. The contamination source originally could not be identified at this site. Historical records revealed that a sub-grade ramp loading dock had been covered with asphalt and transformed to above-grade.


Dan Hafley, R.G., Project Manager
Oregon DEQ, Voluntary Cleanup
Northwest Region
2020 SW Fourth Avenue, Suite 400
Portland, OR 97201-4987
800-452-4011 or 503-229-5417

Lance Johnson, Environmental Engineer
AGRA Earth and Environmental, Inc.
7477 SW Tech Center Drive
Portland, OR 97223


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