EPA holding meeting to discuss vapor cleanup

Hall Street evacuation scene
The scene on Hall Street SE near Madison Avenue where occupants were evacuated due to concerns about contamination caused by the chemicals used at a now-closed dry cleaning business. (May 20, 2016)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Federal, state and county officials will be holding a meeting to answer questions from residents after vapors were detected on Grand Rapids’ southeast side which prompted an evacuation last week.

An air sample test this month showed higher than acceptable levels of vapors from a dry cleaning fluid at 413 Hall Street SE. The building was home to American Phoenix Laundry between 1921 and 1995.

Authorities decided that the addresses should be vacated. The health department said occupants were informed of that on Thursday, April 19. Affected were two nonprofits — the Red Project at 401 Hall and Seeds of Promise at 1168 Madison — as well as one apartment at 1170 Madison.

On Wednesday, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Kent County health representatives will be holding a meeting at 6 p.m. at the Line Gallery, located at 1167 Madison Avenue SE, to discuss the cleanup process and answer questions.

The health department said that most of the affected occupants — 17 people — had already been tested and were encouraged to follow up with their doctors.

There have not been any reports of illnesses.

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