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Bowling AlleyAuthored by Genevieve Reynolds, Senior Project Manager at The Vertex Companies, Inc. (VERTEX) – Real estate investors and lenders are familiar with drycleaners as a potential source of chlorinated solvent contamination. But chlorinated solvent contamination can be found at a number of other property types, including automotive maintenance locations, former factories, and even bowling alleys. Historical bowling alley operations may have used solvents, including chlorinated solvents, to clean and maintain equipment and pins.

VERTEX recently worked at two sites where contamination was identified in association with former bowling alley operations.

Site #1 is located in suburban Massachusetts. While assessing a gasoline filling station site, VERTEX identified a plume of chlorinated solvents impacting the site. The gasoline filling station was of recent construction and was not identified as the source of the chlorinated solvents. Instead, an off-site bowling alley was identified as the source of the plume. VERTEX’s file review established the source of the chlorinated solvent plume, and VERTEX was able to advise the client on potential measures to establish their position as a down-gradient property.

Site #2 is a current bowling alley located in a rural area. The site formerly used an on-site drinking water well, until a drinking water assessment for the local health agency revealed low levels of chlorinated solvents, likely from the on-site bowling alley. The well was closed and the site was connected to municipal water. However, the risk for additional impacts remained. VERTEX conducted a Phase II Limited Subsurface Investigation at the site to assess the extent of chlorinated solvent impacts and advise a potential purchaser on next steps.

At both sites, VERTEX’s Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) identified the chlorinated solvent impacts associated with the bowling alley operations and provided the client with an objective assessment of environmental risks associated with the site, as well as likely reasonable and worst-case cost scenarios for potential remedial activities. 

Genevieve Reynolds, Senior Project Manager at VERTEX, has over a decade of experience performing environmental consulting including Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs), Phase II ESAs, and other environmental consulting services. For more information on environmental consulting services or to schedule a training for your office on this or other topics, please contact us