DEQ Press Releases

Driscoll, Paul

Montana DEQ & EPA to host joint public meeting on Billings indoor air quality sampling

HELENA –  The Environmental Protection Agency and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality will hold a joint public meeting Thursday, July 25, in Billings to share results of indoor air sampling, as well as soil and groundwater sampling, at the Billings PCE Groundwater State Superfund Site. The agencies also will seek public input on options for addressing the contamination.

 

The air quality sampling was done in buildings in east and southeast Billings that overlie groundwater contaminated by dry cleaning chemicals and other industrial sources.

 

Officials will share results of DEQ-directed air sampling showing that, at some locations, contaminants have moved from groundwater through soil and entered overlying structures, a problem known as “vapor intrusion.” The contaminants of concern primarily include the chlorinated solvents tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and trichloroethylene (TCE) and other compounds.

 

Solvent contamination in the area was reported in the early 1990s and preliminary investigations identified Big Sky Linen (715 Central Avenue) as the most contaminated source area. In 2008, EPA conducted an aggressive removal cleanup in the Big Sky Linen area that included:

 

  • Removal and disposal of highly contaminated soil.
  • Chemical injection to help break down groundwater contamination.
  • Installation of a barrier wall around the most contaminated groundwater.

 

DEQ conducted a followup Remedial Investigation from 2016 to 2018 to assess the 2008 emergency removal progress and to define the current extent and potential impacts of the contamination. Based on those findings, the agencies will provide an overview of next steps, including the possibility of proposing the Site to the federal National Priorities List, commonly known as the federal Superfund program, which could potentially open up funding to clean up the Site and provide public health protection.

 

Health risks will be addressed at the meeting by DEQ, and officials from the Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services will be available to discuss health risks with individuals. EPA officials will provide information on the process for recommending a site to the federal National Priorities List and what listing could mean for future cleanup activity.

 

The meeting will be held from 7-9 p.m., Thursday, July 25, at Lewis & Clark Middle School, at 1315 Lewis Ave., in Billings.

 

For further information about the Billings PCE Groundwater State Superfund Facility, visit deq.mt.gov/land/statesuperfund/billings-pce

 

DEQ will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate. If you require an accommodation, please contact Autumn Daniels at 406-444-6591 or adaniels2@mt.gov at least three days before the meeting.

 

What: Public Meeting on the Billings PCE Groundwater State Superfund Site

When: Thursday, July 25, 7-9 p.m.

Where: Lewis & Clark Middle School, 1315 Lewis Ave., Billings

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