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Highway 3 PCE - RV002

Site Contact:
Jeff Pritchard
On-Scene Coordinator


Site Location:
18 Plymouth Street SE
Le Mars, IA 51031

EPA discovered the Highway 3 PCE Superfund Site  in April 2008, when tetrachloroethylene (PCE) was detected in groundwater samples collected in the downtown area of Le Mars, Iowa, as part of an investigation of the nearby Le Mars Coal Gasification Plant Site. PCE and its degradation products detected in the groundwater samples were determined not to be associated with the Le Mars Coal Gasification Plant Site. As a result, EPA created the Highway 3 PCE Site, encompassing the downtown area of Le Mars, and began follow-up sampling to investigate the presence and source of PCE.

Since discovery of the site, EPA has conducted sampling activities to better understand the extent of the contamination and the potential risks to human health and the environment posed by it, and to develop and implement a cleanup plan to address identified risks. PCE was detected at levels above health concern in indoor air at buildings within the site area. As a result, the EPA Superfund Program initiated a time-critical removal action on Aug. 21, 2013, to install vapor intrusion mitigation systems in 20 buildings in downtown Le Mars. The current planned removal action will address PCE-contaminated soil.