|Building that formerly housed Forbes Cleaners on Ecorse in Ypsilanti Twp. Purple Walrus Press photo.|
By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.
According to an update posted by Ypsilanti Township Trustee Monica Ross-Williams, concerns were raised at a July 18 Ypsilanti Township Trustee meeting over the possibility of the presence of a potentially dangerous chemical at the site of the former Forbes Cleaners in Ypsilanti Township. The commercial property is located at 923 Ecorse Road in Ypsilanti Township.
According to the Ypsilanti Township Board of Trustees meeting update, during the Ypsilanti Township Trustee meeting, the Township's Attorney provided updated information regarding the property.
According to the Township Trustee meeting update post, "On April 11, 2017, an affidavit was filed with the Washtenaw County Register of Deeds on behalf of Ypsilanti Township noting, potential purchasers of the property at 923 Ecorse Road, a foreclosed property in Ypsilanti Township under the authority of the Washtenaw County Treasurers Office, of pending violations existing at the property."
According to the Ypsilanti Township Trustee meeting update, an environmental Consulting Company called AKT Peerless was requested by Washtenaw County Treasurers Office to inspect the property at 923 Ecorse to determine if any environmental concerns existed at the property due to the fact that the building had housed a Dry Cleaners for a long period of time.
Of concern is the possibility of the existence at the site, of a potentially dangerous chemical called Perchloroethlene also known as PCE or PERC. This is a chemical that is used quite regularly in Dry Cleaners. There are guidelines that have been published by the Environmental Protection Agency in order to reduce PCE/PERC levels if the "National Perchloroethylenev Air Emission Standards", which is under the organization, rule study.
According to the July 18 Ypsilanti Township Trustee meeting update posted by Township Trustee Monica Ross-Williams, "The rule study notes, (2), "These maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standards will reduce emissions of Perchloroethylene (PCE) from new and existing dry cleaning facilities in the industrial and commercial sectors of the dry cleaning industry."
According to the American Cancer Society, Perchloroethylene is a commonly used solvent ( a substance, usually a liquid, capable of dissolving another substance)." The American Cancer Society states that the chemical is commonly used to dry clean fabrics.
When PERC is air born it can condense and effect soils and water. This is because it evaporates into the air, according to the American Cancer Society. The chemical is present in very small amounts in the air that we breath and water hat we consume. According American Cancer Society, people who live close to dry cleaning operations and or live in a building where dry cleaning businesses are located are exposed to higher amounts of tetrachlorethylen (also known as perchloroethylene) that are in the air.
According the American Cancer Society, "The highest exposures to tetrachlorethylene tend to occur in the workplace, especially among dry cleaning and degreasing workers."
According to the Ypsilanti Township Trustee meeting update, based on phase 1 study findings of property at 923 Ecorse Road, "The Washtenaw County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority was scheduled to approve a $15,000 grant submitted on behalf of the Washtenaw County Treasurers Office for a phase 11 Study Environmental study to examine the amount of PCE/PERC existing at the property in the soil and air."
According to the Ypsilanti Township Trustee meeting update that was posted on July 19 by Monica Ross-Williams, the phase 11 request for a study and the allotted funding was, "pulled on behalf of the Washtenaw County Treasurers Office citing, as noted during the General Legal Update of the Ypsilanti Township Board of Trustees Meeting by the Township's Attorney due to the County Treasurer Office belief the office "Did not have any legal obligation to have Phase 11 ESA performed", and the County Treasurers Office scheduled the property for auction for August 25, 2017."
According to Ypsilanti Twp Trustee Monica-Ross Williams, it was noted during July 18 Township Board meeting that, "At an impasse with the County Treasurer Office, the Township Attorney contacted an official from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to immediately address the possible environmental hazards existing at 923 Ecorse in effort to halt the pending auction as noted above and complete further studies to address PCE and or PERC chemical presence on the site."
It is important to note that according to the Ypsilanti Township Board meeting update posted by Trustee Monica Ross-Williams on July 18, 2017, that an MDEQ (Michigan Department of Environmental Quality) official, "Agreed to take swift action address continuing Environmental Studies, up to and including Brownfeilding the property and pausing future auctioning of 923 Ecorse until the ongoing environmental concerns are addressed."
Purple Walrus Press attempted to contact Washtenaw County Treasurer Catherine McClary on Wednesday, July 18, for comment. As of late Thursday afternoon, McClary has not responded.
According to a July 19, 2017 statement sent to Purple Walrus Press from Ypsilanti Township Trustee Monica Ross-Williams, "As a Trustee and resident living near the former Forbes Cleaners at 923 Ecorse Road, I'm elated it appears that the MDEQ will seek to address and environmental concerns which could exist on the property. Equally, I am pleased our Township Officials pushed to have concerns addressed after the findings in the phase 1 study for our residents living near the former Forbes Cleaners as well as Business Owners on the Ecorse Road corridor."