Research Projects - Environmental Risk Assessment of Dry Cleaning Chemicals at Sites in Maine
Authors: Tracey Weston Kelly
This research project develops and applies an environmental risk rating system focused on a dry cleaning chemical known as perchloroethylene (PCE). PCE is a colorless, nonflammable liquid solvent that, if released to the environment, can cause adverse health effects in humans and animals. Using records available to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, the study catalogs and scores more than 180 current and former dry cleaning locations within the State of Maine. The purpose of the study is to identify locations warranting environmental investigation because of risks associated with PCE handling, storage, and disposal. Contamination has been documented at several former dry cleaning locations in the State and the number is expected to increase as more dry cleaning locations are evaluated. Data collected about each location includes PCE use, whether or not the facility is operating, and whether the building is co-located with a residence or other business.