EPA-logoThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has nominated the site of a former Atlantic business to be put on its superfund cleanup list. EPA Region Seven spokesman, Chris Whitley, says the former PCE dry cleaners could be put on the list.

“The superfund program has a nationally priority list and this basically assigns a level of urgency — importance if you will — to the worst of the worst,” Whitley says.

Whitley says the former Atlantic business is one of several sites involving dry cleaning that have raised environmental concerns. He says the property at this site has been contaminated by a number of different solvents when the business operated there in the 1960’s. The building was leased in 1974 by the Iowa Department of Transportation for use as a materials testing laboratory, and it was demolished sometime after 1982.

“The land is now occupied by a bank, but it is actually the groundwater that is beneath the surface that has the contamination,” Whitely explains. “Assuming this site is indeed added to the national priorities list, that would be the contamination that the EPA would target for addressing.” Whitley says everyone has a chance to weight in the request to put the site on the superfund list.

“There’s always a 60-day comment period during which the public can speak out about this happening,” Whitley says. He says the City of Atlantic, and the Atlantic Municipal Utilities, have expressed support for placing the site on the list. You can go to the EPA’s website to comment on the proposal.