The Billings PCE Groundwater State Superfund Site is an 855-acre area just east and southeast of downtown Billings. Groundwater has been contaminated by dry cleaning chemicals and other industrial sources. Testing has shown that, at some locations, contaminants have moved from groundwater through soil and entered overlying structures, a problem known as "vapor intrusion."
Contaminants of concern include the chlorinated solvents tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and trichloroethylene (TCE) and other compounds. PCE was historically used at a former dry cleaning business on Central Avenue, but has also been less commonly used for metal cleaning and degreasing and as an ingredient in common automotive products such as brake cleaners. The PCE at the site eventually came into contact with groundwater. Dissolved PCE is now present in the groundwater underlying portions of the Billings PCE Groundwater Site at concentrations greater than Montana groundwater standards.
Documents relating to this facility will be available for download and/or viewing on this page as they are finalized. For more information please contact DEQ project officer, Mike Gipson, at 444-6422 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Billings PCE Groundwater Site originated on Big Sky Linen property on the 700 block of Central Avenue and along Central Avenue to 7th Street West. The laundry conducted dry cleaning operations from approximately 1967 through 1992. Other dry cleaning businesses may also have contributed PCE contamination. Field investigations were first initiated at the site by the Department of Environmental Quality in 1992 with subsequent investigations in 1994, 1999, and 2001. DEQ determined a shallow groundwater PCE plume about 8,500 feet long, and up to 3,300 feet wide was moving east-northeast toward downtown Billings. The site was designated a State Superfund Site in 1992.
In fall 2008, EPA completed a removal in the Big Sky Linen area that included the excavation of contaminated soil, installation of an underground barrier wall to contain contaminated groundwater, and injection of chemicals to help break down contamination. Vapor mitigation systems were installed in some structures.
DEQ-collected data from other property investigations following the EPA removal work that led the agency to suspect other sources were contributing to groundwater contamination. DEQ performed a remedial investigation to determine: the current nature and extent of contamination; whether other sources were contributing to contamination, and if vapor intrusion was occurring elsewhere. The remedial investigation showed multiple sources of contamination, continued groundwater contamination stemming from these sources, and vapor intrusion into overlying structures.