BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — An area of Billings contaminated with dry cleaning chemicals that emit toxic vapors has been added to the federal government's Superfund list of cleanup sites.
The move makes the Billings PCE site eligible for federal money for permanent cleanup. Solvents from old dry cleanings businesses in Billings created an underground plume that stretches for miles , the Billings Gazette reports.
Employees of businesses near one of the dry cleaners have complained of feeling sick because of exposure to PCE, a solvent used to remove stains that's been linked to liver and some cancers, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
The area was declared a state Superfund site in 1992.
Over the next year, workers from the EPA and Montana Department of Environmental Quality will investigate which buildings have been contaminated and outline cleanup options.