KENAI (AP) -- State officials have approved a plan for cleaning up pollution from a dry cleaning operation near the Kenai River in Soldotna and work may begin by early October.
The plan involves injection of chemicals in the ground to intercept the dry cleaning fluid that's migrating to the river from a former laundromat at River Terrace RV Park.
The treatment formula, known as Hydrogen Release Compound also will fertilize naturally occurring bacteria the state hopes will digest the remaining contamination.
''It sounds good to me,'' said Soldotna Mayor Ken Lancaster. Lancaster has criticized both the state and River Terrace owners, Judith and Gary Hinkle, for spending too much time fingerpointing and not enough on cleaning up the mess.
The site was contaminated with a dry cleaning solvent from the 1960s to 1988. The contamination was brought to the state's attention in 1992, and cleanup work has been under way since.
Virgil Norton, the Hinkles' project manager, said he is satisfied with the plan the state Department of Environmental Conservation has come up with.
''It allows the state a lot of flexibility to do what needs to be done and bring this site to an end,'' Norton said.
The state also will hire a contractor to sample groundwater to be sure the treatment is working.
DEC already has spent $1.7 million, including legal costs, on River Terrace, and a judge has ruled it can bill the Hinkles for its costs.
However, the parties still must settle what costs the Hinkles will pay, he said.
Norton said the Hinkles have spent $2 million so far. They will meet their responsibilities, he said, but he does not think they will wind up paying all of the state's costs.
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