Sandies Dry Cleaner & Laundry

Little Chute, WI - Region V


Site Contact:

Ramon Mendoza
On-Scene Coordinator

513 Grand Ave.
Little Chute, WI 54140

Latitude: 44.2792130
Longitude: -88.3159220

The Sandies Dry Cleaner and Laundry facility (Site) operated as a dry cleaner and laundry from 1957 to about 2003 and has been vacant since 2006. The current owner indicated to the State that Tetrachloroethylene (PCE) was used at the Site from 1958 to 2003.

The Site is surrounded by Bakers Outlet to the south, and Weenies Still Bar to the north. Both Weenies Still Bar and Bakers Outlet share a brick wall with the Site building, on the north side and south side, respectively. There is another business, American Family Insurance, in the building complex; connected to the South of Bakers Outlet. Weenies Still Bar, Bakers Outlet, and American Family Insurance are all operating businesses. Additionally, there are occupied residences above Weenies Still Bar and American Family Insurance.

Soil contaminated with PCE was found adjacent to the dry cleaning machine at the Site and PCE vapors were detected in the indoor air next door. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (WDHS) conducted indoor air sampling on February 17, 2011. WDHS documented the presence of PCE in all samples collected during this sampling event. Results of PCE in indoor air samples collected in the unoccupied apartment on the second floor of the Site, and all three levels of the Weenies Still Bar property exceeded both U.S.EPA and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) screening levels and recommended action levels.

On March 3, 2011, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) requested U.S. EPA’s assistance to conduct a Site Assessment and Removal Action at the Site. On March 10, 2011, U.S. EPA obtained voluntary access agreements from Sandies' owner and from owners of the adjacent properties. Access was granted by the Village of Little Chute on April 1, 2011, for their property bordering the Site. From March 10 to April 19 2011, U.S. EPA conducted removal assessment activities at the Site.

Soil samples collected below the area of the dry cleaning machine at the Site detected PCE concentrations from 390,000 to 1,400,000 ug/kg at depths from 1 to 5 feet below ground surface. This location is less than 3 feet from the property boundary line of the adjacent Weenies Still Bar and appears to represent the main source of PCE contamination. Shallow groundwater samples collected next to the dry cleaning machine at the Site and at a downgradient location detected PCE concentrations at 1,500 µg/L and 180 ug/L, respectively. Shallow groundwater contaminated with PCE at these concentrations may pose a vapor intrusion risk and potentially impact the Site and homes and businesses downgradient of the Site. Subslab soil gas samples collected at Sandies, next to the dry cleaning machine, showed a result of 22,000 ppbv of PCE. These concentrations are more than 700 times the U.S.EPA/ATSDR subslab removal action level of 30 ppbv. Cracks in the neighboring basement walls were observed, indicating that contaminated groundwater and vapors could infiltrate directly into the neighboring buildings. Indoor PCE concentrations collected during U.S. EPA’s site assessment exceeded the U.S. EPA /ATSDR removal action level of 3 ppbv for PCE.

Evaluation of the data shows that there is a completed pathway of exposure for the current and future occupants of the Site and neighboring buildings. An Action Memo to conduct a time critical removal action was signed on August 3, 2011. U.S. EPA and its contractors mobilized to the Site to start the cleanup on September 7, 2011.

For additional information, visit the Pollution/Situation Report (Pol/Sitreps) section.