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EPA to Sample in Lamond-Riggs Park - Expect to see a white TAGA bus in the neighborhood

Release Date: 4/2/2004
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543

Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543

PHILADELPHIA – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will conduct soil vapor, indoor air, and groundwater sampling in the Lamond-Riggs Park section of northeast Washington, DC from Tuesday, April 6 through Tuesday, April 20.

This sampling is part of an EPA investigation of perchloroethylene (PERC) in subsurface soils. PERC, which is used primarily in the dry cleaning industry, was discovered by Chevron in the summer of 2002 while investigating a gasoline leak. Since then, EPA has undertaken an investigation to identify the source, possible effects, and the extent of PERC contamination.

EPA will sample using its best diagnostic tool – the TAGA bus – a state-of-the-art mobile air quality lab, which is so sensitive that it can read pollution down to parts per quadrillion. The TAGA bus – which stands for trace atmospheric gas analyzer – will draw indoor air from homes through a hose and into the analyzer inside the TAGA lab for screening. The bus looks like a large white RV.

In addition, EPA will sample for PERC in soil vapor and will collect indoor air samples in canisters, which will be sent to a lab for analysis. Results from this round of sampling will not be available for a least two months after the last sample is collected.

As many as 40 homes will be sampled. Homes previously sampled in the summer of 2003 will be resampled to learn if there are seasonal variations between the summer samples and the samples being taken now - in spring 2004. Samples will be taken at homes on Eastern Avenue, Riggs Road, Oglethorpe Street, Nicholson Street, Eighth Street, and Kensington Place.

EPA will also sample six groundwater from wells previously installed for the PERC investigation in the neighborhood. Drinking water will not be sampled because it is not a part of this investigation.

Websites have been created so citizens can track the progress of both the PERC and gasoline investigations at and