City approves water monitoring wells near Deer Run
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the City are taking water samples in an area east of Powerline Road and south of Hillsboro Boulevard to determine whether chemicals used by a defunct dry cleaner have contaminated the water.
The city commission has approved drilling the monitoring wells on April 1 but it was no April Fool’s joke; the agreement putting two monitoring wells behind the strip mall best known for the store selling shoes for $9.99 will allow the EPA and city to study ground water to see if it has been contaminated by a business that formerly operated there.
“It’s an old issue we are trying to clean up,” explained Charlie DaBrusco, the city’s director of environmental services. “[It is] pollution they found a long time ago. It is not something the city deals with.”
The last time there was this much public attention to a dry cleaning problem was five years ago. Deerfield Cleaners and Laundry, owned by former city and county commissioner Sylvia Poitier, was found responsible for 14 violations of environmental law related hazardous waste. The offense: contaminating the "ground or groundwater" beneath 85 W. Hillsboro Blvd. with perchloroethylene, also known as perc.
In that case, too, it was the Florida Department of Environmental Protection that cracked down. Poitier in 2012 avoided a charge of contempt of court by agreeing to begin making payments of $1,200 per month toward site clean up, and $100 a month for ten months for litigation.
DaBrusco said regulators are concerned in this case because the alleged contamination abuts a residential neighborhood. But, he said, drinking water is not in jeopardy.
“Our water supply wells are so far awy from there,” he said. “Also, we use Biscayne Aquifer wells, which are 1,300 feet down. Those would not be impacted by this.”