Archive for the ‘Health Assessment Risk’ Category

Dry Cleaners Beware: Your Liabilities May Be Increasing

Photo by [le]doo (francis). Some rights reserved.

Law firm Mintz Levin published an Alert last week suggesting that properties with chlorinated solvent contamination may be facing new regulatory risks and liability concerns “as a result of controversial human health studies” recently released by the EPA.

The two studies – on trichloroethylene (TCE), used in washing and degreasing activities, and tetrachloroethylene (PCE), a chemical used often in dry cleaning – were completed in late 2011 and early 2012, respectively. The EPA found that “the cancer and non-cancer risks related to TCE exposure were greater than previously believed,” and the “PCE human health assessment identified less cancer risk, but more non-cancer risk than previous assessments.”

Based on the findings, the EPA has already made regulatory changes such as lowering the level of TCE in indoor air that would trigger an investigation. While Mintz Levin concedes that the regulatory requirements are still in flux, the firm still recommends that dry cleaners (or other solvent site property owners) “involve the right environmental consultant to develop a site-specific strategy for investigating and remediating PCE and TCE,” as well as exploring “liability considerations and tak[ing] advantage of any liability protection afforded under state or federal law.”

Don’t forget to check out the Alert for more details.

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