$2.4M demolition and cleanup of polluted Ann Arbor dry cleaner site underway

[mlive.com – 2022.01.10] The demolition of an Ann Arbor dry cleaner to address a longstanding pollution problem in the soil beneath the building is now underway.

Armen Cleaners has stood at 630 S. Ashley St. for decades, but officials determined last year the building needs to come down so the state can take action to remove contaminated soil, a problem first discovered 37 years ago. The state is paying for the demolition and cleanup.

The partially completed demolition of Armen Cleaners at 630 S. Ashley St. in Ann Arbor on Jan. 10, 2021.

Improper handling of waste by the dry cleaning business was first documented in 1985 when releases of PCE to soil and groundwater were discovered, and throughout the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s there were several additional investigations to define the extent of the problem, according to Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy(EGLE)

In 2020, feasibility and cost analysis for several remediation options were evaluated, according to EGLE. After evaluation and discussions with the city, neighbors and the county, EGLE began planning for a remedial excavation of the source property, the dry cleaner.

“As currently planned, the remediation will also include two phases of biodegradation treatments of the groundwater to help decrease elevated PCE levels that have migrated off-site,” EGLE stated in a June 2021 report.

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