Apr 18, 2018

Developer Sues Dry Cleaner Over Groundwater Contamination

The New Jersey developer has filed suit against the owners of a former dry cleaner for groundwater contamination

Lawsuit on dry cleaners over groundwater contamination

The builder of the Somerville Town Center redevelopment project has filed suit against the owners of a former dry cleaners in Somerville, N.J., claiming that the former business has contaminated groundwater on the developer’s property. Formerly known as Pessaroff Cleaners, the dry cleaner site had been in operation since the early 1900s and owned by Hyo Joon Kim and Yong Sim Kim from 1985 until 2013. 

The suit argues that the groundwater is contaminated with hazardous substances, including tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and trichlorethylene (TCE), the former being commonly used in a dry cleaning fluid and the latter a solvent for spot cleaning and degreasing.

The developer claims that they have been forced to remove PCE-contaminated soil and that the chemicals have been found in a monitoring well on the vacant lot directly across the street from the site. The eight-page lawsuit was filed March 28, according to Central Jersey.