Georgia proposes nearly $3 million cleanup of Milledgeville pollution

mstucka@macon.comJuly 4, 2013 

A plume of a dry cleaning chemical that stretches hundreds of feet beneath Milledgeville may take nearly $3 million to clean up.

A draft consent order would launch a trust fund to clean up the solvent known as “perc” that’s gotten into water near the former Concord Fabrics site at 80 Ga. 22 West. Jason Metzger, unit coordinator for a response development unit within Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division, said the toxins are a decades-old legacy.

One water well test found concentrations of 97 milligrams per liter, about 20,000 times higher than the maximum drinking water limit of 5 micrograms per liter.

“It’s a significant release, definitely,” Metzger said. “And that’s why we’ve set aside close to $3 million for groundwater (cleanup), and they’ve already spent close to $4 million with a substantial soil excavation to try to get any source material that might have remained in.”

The EPD likely will sign the consent order unless public comment suggests a significant reason to do something else.

Those public comments are being accepted through July 17.

Metzger said the chemical -- percloroethylene, also known as PCE -- got into the ground and water from spills or leaks. Concord Fabrics last used the perc decades ago, when it was cleaning its products for sale. The company closed for business in 2005. Money for the cleanup will come from insurance companies.

Cleanup is expected to take five to 10 years.

To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.

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