BILLINGS, Mont. — The Environmental Protection Agency recently released a plan to clean up a 140-acre plume of perc-contaminated groundwater that lies under homes and businesses in Billings, Mont. The plan will launch a cleanup as early as spring 2008 to prevent the contamination from spreading.
EPA says the effort will cost about $7 million and take up to five years. Superfund money will pay for the initial cleanup costs, and EPA may seek reimbursement from the party or parties responsible for the release.
So far, the agency has named Big Sky Linen, a laundry and drycleaning plant, as the only “potentially responsible party.” The company’s current operators told EPA in a letter that they have no record of a release.
Following a Montana DEQ alert and an inquiry from the Billings Gazette, EPA conducted air sampling in 45 buildings and discovered elevated levels of perc vapor in basements and foundations. EPA then fast-tracked the cleanup effort.