Case Studies

Successful Cleanup Through Voluntary Cleanup Program

Contamination of a Commercial Property


Our Client’s Challenge

Our client owns and operates commercial properties in the Pacific Northwest, including a retail shopping center located in Vancouver, Washington. As a result of prior dry cleaning operations, as well as a significant spill of spent dry cleaning solution by a third-party vendor, the groundwater beneath the site has been impacted by halogenated volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particularly perchloroethylene (PCE) and its daughter products. The client sought advice on how to mitigate the potential environmental impacts of the VOC releases, minimize the risk of potential enforcement action by the Washington Department of Ecology (DOE), and position itself for future cost recovery actions against potentially both its tenant and the third-party vendor that caused the significant release of PCE.

Our Solution

We successfully negotiated a work plan with the DOE and thereafter the client implemented the approved in-situ bioremediation work plan under the Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) consistent with the requirements of the Washington State Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) and to achieve the MTCA Method A cleanup levels for PCE. As a result of this, no enforcement action has been brought by DOE, the cleanup of the released VOCs has been implemented, and the Method A cleanup levels have been achieved. This same process is being used to amend the previously approved in-situ bioremediation work plan to address residual PCE contamination that migrated to the adjacent property, thereby avoiding potential DOE enforcement actions and third-party actions by the adjacent property owner. Upon completion of the ongoing cleanup action, the client expects to seek formal site closure from DOE.

Tags: Environmental and Natural Resources, Commercial Real Estate

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