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home : government : cities/towns January 24, 2015

2/25/2013 12:19:00 PM
Council to discuss contaminated building

By David Richards

For four decades, Loren Englehardt operated the "Capri Beauty Salon" in a building located at the intersection of Fourth Street and Byron Avenue.

It was where crew cuts were given, and hair was colored.

Englehardt has since moved the business to a new place, at 302 Byron Ave., but the old location is still there and sits empty contaminated.

"After being there for so long, you get disappointed, but you go with the flow I guess," Englehardt said.

The contaminants were reportedly there before Englehardt moved in and were discovered by officials from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency who were investigating the former Sette's Garage facility nearby.

"The pollutant of greatest concern is tetrachloroethene, also known as PCE, a solvent that has been used in the dry cleaning industry," according to a statement released by the MPCA. "The contaminant was released at ground level on the northern side of the building, where it migrated through the soils to a depth of about 15 feet."

PCE can cause damage to the liver and the kidney and can lead to an increased risk of cancer.

""PCE has been detected in groundwater at the site at levels that exceed Minnesota Department of Health standards," the MPCA said. "Vapors from the contaminated soil have affected indoor air quality in the (former site of the) Capri Beauty Salon.

Alexis Donath, spokesperson for the MPCA, said the site does not present a threat to public health, and Englehardt quickly answered when asked whether working there for so long is cause for worry.

"No," Englehardt said. "If it would have been bad, they would have told me."

Englehardt said the building will be sold to the MPCA, and officials from the organization will present options for the contamination at the Byron City Council meeting Feb. 27 at 6 p.m. at city hall.

"The MPCA is accepting public comments on all cleanup alternatives and the information that supports the alternatives until March 13," the MPCA said.

A fact sheet titled, "Proposed cleanup plan for Capri Beauty Salon Site," is available on the MPCA's website,

Claremont Service

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