Dry cleaning solvents delay construction in Nanaimo

A former laundromat has delayed work at Port Place Shopping Centre while property owners clean up contaminated soil.

Remnants from a former laundromat have delayed work at Port Place Shopping Centre while property owners clean up contaminated soil.

The work drew public attention when workers in white Tyvek suits were seen drilling into the soil and pumping in large quantities of hydrogen peroxide solution into the drill sites.

“It was a bit of a surprise to discover we had dry cleaning solvents in the soil there because we had no indication when we did our environmental investigations when we purchased the property that a dry cleaner operated there,” said Ralph Huizinga, First Capital Realty vice president of acquisitions and development. “Our consultants couldn’t find any evidence of that through business registries or anecdotal information.”

Huizinga said the dry cleaning solvents were discovered in the soil when the company conducted additional environmental investigations.

Percholorethylene, one of the most commonly used dry cleaning solvents, has been linked to cancers and is environmentally harmful.

Because the pollution plume in the soil is close to the building’s foundations, removing all of the contaminated soil is not an option.

In such cases, a solution of five per cent strength hydrogen peroxide, which neutralizes dry cleaning solvent residue, is injected into the ground.

“What the hydrogen peroxide does is break down or oxidize the dry cleaning solvents in the soil,” Huizinga said. “We had to address it and it set us back a couple of months and a few hundred thousand dollars.”

The injection process ended early last week and crews will survey the effectiveness of the work in October.

“We’re going to re-sample and our consultants tell us it may require one further injection, but we won’t know until we re-sample,” he said. “In about six weeks we have another sampling of that to see what the dry cleaning solvent levels are at.”



Just Posted

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-mast as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

Curl B.C. chairperson Teri Palynchuk is this year’s winner of the Janette Robbins Award for leadership. Palynchuk is pictured here with the Curling Canada Foundation Cup along with past chairperson Peter Muir, left, and Curl B.C. CEO Scott Braley. (Photo courtesy Curl B.C.)
Nanaimo curling exec wins Curl B.C. leadership award

Teri Palynchuk receives Janette Robbins Award

(Black Press file photo)
RCMP: Air ambulance called to Whiskey Creek after crash involving 2 motorbikes

Both riders taken to hospital with serious injuries

Vancouver courthouse. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Man loses bid to appeal conviction for 1999 rape at Abbotsford music festival

James Redden, 53, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty in 2019 following six-day trial

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

CVSAR search the Puntledge River following a report of an abandoned kayak. Photo, CVSAR Facebook page
Comox Valley Search and Rescue spends four hours searching for no one

Overturned kayak a reminder for public to contact officials if they have to abandon a watercraft

A worker, at left, tends to a customer at a cosmetics shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Half of cosmetics sold in Canada, U.S. contain toxic chemicals: study

Researchers found that 56% of foundations and eye products contain high levels of fluorine

Most Read