Water Resources Professional Project Reports

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The State of New Mexico has sustained groundwater degradation from releases of cleaning solvents, considered hazardous waste, from dry cleaner facilities. Definitions of liability require that owners and operators of dry cleaning facilities to be financially responsible for environmental cleanup. However, legal statutes and case law also identify other potentially responsible parties due to tough national environmental cleanup laws. Current state of the art approaches to remediation at drycleaning sites appears to be the application of multiple engineered technologies as well as natural processes. Ideally, these may include the application of engineered source abatement in soil and/or groundwater to reduce potential long-term risk of site related contamination combined with enhanced or existing monitored natural attenuation factors. Similarly, the solution to paying associated cleanup costs may have to be effectively distributed among liable parties. This may be done by modeled negotiated agreements with the intention of avoiding costly litigation, and/or other mechanisms, such as a state drycleaner program. Fund generation will be a problem in New Mexico, as the drycleaner industry is small in number,however, there are a limited number of sites that may need to be remediated.

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drycleaning facilities, perchloroethylene (PCE) solvent, hydrocarbon solvents, soil remediation, groundwater remediation, groundwater solvent plumes, Green Zia Environmental Excellence Program, remedial technologies


A Professional Project Report Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Water Resources Administration. The University of New Mexico Albuquerque, New Mexico, July 2000.