Interesting article today in the AZ Daily Star:
There are many of these sites around the area due to Tucson’s history as a manufacturer and supporter of the Air Force. At the time, it was protocol to let solvent evaporate. Now, we’re seeing the costs of this action. TCE or trichloroethylene is a small molecule, with three chlorines connected by carbons.
It can be decomposed by removing the chlorines one at a time, but the less chlorines on the molecule, the harder it is to break down. It also tends to be deep underground, so it’s hard to get to. There are options though; we can put microbes underground that chew up the TCE and make it into other things, or we can pump the water out and treat it that way. We’re still working on solutions. We’re doing the best we can, but is it enough? What do you think?