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Minute Man Cleaners’ contaminants cleaned up

An undated Google view shows Minute Man Cleaners

An undated Google view shows Minute Man Cleaners on Ocean Ave. in East Rockaway. Credit: Google

Cleanup of soil and groundwater contamination stemming from leaks from a dry-cleaning business in East Rockaway has been completed, the state Department of Environmental Conservation announced last week.

The contamination around Minute Man Cleaners, at 89 Ocean Ave., occurred between 1983 and 1987 after broken gaskets allowed the dry-cleaning solvent tetrachloroethylene to spill from the business’s dry-cleaning machine about six times, the DEC said, citing information from the business. The machine has since been replaced.

Tetrachloroethylene, considered a probable carcinogen, was found in soil at the site and in groundwater under and around the area. The site is .19 acres and is located off Mill River, a tidal creek.

The DEC approved a plan in January under the state’s Brownfield Cleanup Program that called for the owner of the property, Ben Ley Enterprises, to perform a series of steps to decontaminate the area.

That plan included injection of a chemical oxidant into the soil and water to break down the solvent, groundwater sampling, and operating a system to extract harmful vapors from the soil, among other measures.

While groundwater was affected at the site, it is not used as a public water supply, the state said.

About 56.5 tons of contaminated soil already was removed from under and around the business, the DEC said.

The owner of the site has submitted a final engineering report to the state. Once a certificate of completion is issued, the site would be eligible for redevelopment.

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