- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 6, 2014

BRAZIL, Ind. (AP) - Officials say hazardous waste from a former dry cleaner will cause a two-month delay in construction on U.S. 40 near Brazil while workers clean the contaminated site.

The Indiana Department of Transportation was notified in March that perchloroethylene - also known as PCE or tetrachloroethylene - was found in groundwater along the project’s right of way during an early site check, Indiana Department of Environmental Management spokesman Barry Sneed told the Tribune-Star (https://bit.ly/1fRnoez ).

The chemical most commonly is used by dry cleaners. High exposure can lead to liver damage, kidney failure and some cancers, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The PCE plume runs across the highway and some distance parallel to the highway in an area served by city water, INDOT spokeswoman Debbie Calder said.

There are no water wells in the area, which removes concern of drinking contamination, Sneed said.

Road construction work, which had been slated to start in mid-April, is now scheduled to begin June 2 as workers are trained to properly clean the waste, Calder said. The project had been scheduled to be completed by Nov. 15, 2015.

Gradex Inc. has a $19.7 million contract for the project, which will include replacing pavement and adding new storm drainage, curbs and gutters, and sidewalks compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The impacted site is the former Adamson Fabric Care Service in Brazil. IDEM has been working with the company, its insurance provider and an environmental contractor to address the issue, Sneed said.

Gradex Inc. is working with environmental consultant Cardno ATC to train more than 30 workers on removal and a contamination management plan, Calder said.

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Information from: Tribune-Star, https://www.tribstar.com

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