Introduction & Background

A commercial property developer was interested in the sale of a strip shopping center that included an on-site dry cleaning operation. As part of the necessary due diligence related to a sale of the property, Phase I & II Site Assessments were conducted by the buyer’s environmental consultant. During the assessment, regulated hazardous compounds from dry cleaning fluid were found in soil beneath the dry cleaner that exceeded regulatory levels. These findings were set to land the site on the Hazardous Sites List (HSL) unless something was done promptly.



Dry Cleaner






Woodstock, GA



Phase I & II ESA

Statement of Problem

If this property became listed on the HSL (which would happen in 30 days), the sale would come to a halt and the property value may have been decreased. Further, it was suspected that subsurface impact extended beneath the wall and floor of the adjacent restaurant, potentially resulting in loss of business due to closure. In addition, code enforcement personnel for the local building department frequented this restaurant. The building department had limited experience with rapid corrective action events potentially resulting in unnecessary design and permitting delays.

Strategy & Solution

In order to complete investigation, remediation and closure within the allotted timeframe, we knew we had to be aggressive. To meet this need, Sierra decided on soil excavation as the most appropriate method to achieve closure.

Sierra coordinated a 19’ wide by 38’ long area concrete removal inside the former dry cleaning location. Soil excavation proceeded quickly with both machine-assisted and manual excavation. Confirmatory soil sample analyses supported the fact that subsurface impact above the regulatory standard had been removed. The excavation was backfilled with clean material and finished by restoring concrete to the area and making it a usable commercial space.


As a result of performing a significant soil remediation effort within the 30-day period, the property owner was able to show compliance with State environmental regulations and prevent the listing of the property on the Hazardous Sites List. Both the environment and human health were protected, the property transaction did not suffer, and the commercial space was available for immediate leasing.