MPCA Raises Concerns Over Byron Site

Posted at: 02/19/2013 6:46 PM
By: Brittany Lewis

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- A building’s property in Byron is found contaminated, now one state agency is hoping to fix that.

The building is the former site of the Capri Beauty Salon in Byron. The contaminants were found after a search was done on a nearby building because of petroleum issues. During that search, samples of other contaminants were picked up and traced back to the salon.

The Capri Beauty Salon was at the location, near the intersection of Fourth Street and Byron Avenue, for close to forty years. Before that the building was a restaurant, a grocery store, and a laundry. That laundry is believed to be responsible for releasing tetrachloroethene, or PCE. PCE is commonly used by dry cleaners and is also known to cause cancer.

"Primary concern is the building. The vapor levels that were recorded were high. Fortunately, it seems confined to the building,” said Nile Fellows, the site manager.

While the majority of concern is with vapors within the building, PCE has also been detected in the site’s soil and groundwater. 

"We are monitoring the ground water around the building, ground water moving slight off, not a one of anybody that is the ground water has any vapor at this time,” said Fellows.

"It's kind of different after being there so long,” said Loren Engelhardt.

Engelhardt is the owner of the Capri Beauty Salon. The salon was moved around the corner last month after the contamination was found. But Engelhardt shrugs off any worries about how he might be affected.

"There wasn't that much to be concerned about. They did an air quality and it didn't really show nothing,” said Engelhardt.

But the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency believes the contamination is concerning. It says the best way to remove it is to tear the building down.

"For the best long term solution. This is the route to go. We have the current owner out of it by us buying it and removing the building and doing some soil clean up,” said Fellows.

To keep the contamination from spreading farther than it already has.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has come up with several other suggestions to try and contain the problem. It will present those ideas at the Byron City Council meeting Wednesday, February 27 at 6 p.m.