Former dry cleaner and other solvent contaminated sites are actually more common than gas station sites. The chemicals used in dry cleaning are primary suspects in contaminating groundwaters throughout areas such as the the San Gabriel Valley (284 square miles) in Southern California, Silicon Valley (1,500 square miles) in Northern California, and in strip malls and urban areas across California. Individual drycleaner sites are causing significant financial problems for site owners, neighbors, and involved parties. Cleanups are more expensive than those for gas station sites, and these chemicals are often the culprits in vapor intrusion problems in businesses, homes and schools.
The time is now for stakeholders to demonstrate the need and support for a Solvents Cleanup Fund! The new Site Cleanup Subaccount is a test case for such a Solvents Fund. As more UST cases close under the new Low-Threat Closure Policy, the State Water Board and local agencies are pursuing corrective actions and issuing cleanup orders at more properties contaminated with chlorinated solvents. Since the Subaccount qualification criteria will limit participation, we need a true Solvents Cleanup Fund for wider use. CORE needs your help communicating that dry cleaner and other polluted sites urgently need funding to safeguard human health and the environment. CORE has witnessed a shift in Sacramento and the industry toward supporting such a Solvents Cleanup Fund, driven by the drought, economy, regulatory direction. Polls also indicate that the public supports fees on drinking water to fund groundwater cleanup.
Legislators need to know the public and industry cares about protecting California’s drinking water supplies and human health. Prop 1 resources are also available to address groundwater cleanup needs, and Sacramento is dividing up the financial resources right now. With your help we can finally create a Solvents Cleanup Fund in California similar to other states.