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Future Bozeman grocery store contingent upon maintaining remediation efforts

Plans to build a bulk grocery store on the once heavily contaminated site are in the works.
Posted at 9:02 AM, Apr 06, 2024

BOZEMAN — A remediation system now sits where there once was a heavily-contaminated Bozeman solvent site. But because of the remediation efforts, 15th and Main may soon be seeing a new grocery store.

It’s known as the Bozeman Solvent Site (BSS), where Harbor Freight and Hobby Lobby now sit.

For roughly 20 years, beginning in the 60s, a dry-cleaning business dumped a suspected carcinogen into nearby sewers, contaminating wells and surrounding soil.

The contamination was discovered in 1984. In 2006, CVS Pharmacy Inc., which was located in the area, and the City of Bozeman assumed responsibility for all future investigation and cleanup of the site.

Soil vapor extraction (SVE) systems were placed along the old sewer line and underneath Harbor Freight and Hobby Lobby in 2014 to vent any contamination.

According to the Department of Environmental Quality, the site is operated and maintained one to two times a month.

So, is the site safe for construction? The answer, according to DEQ, is yes.

Tests show much of the site no longer poses a health risk, but due to the contamination, deed restrictions were placed on parts of the property, requiring potential developers to clean it up.

According to the permit application, the grocery store proposed for this site falls into deed-restricted areas.

I spoke with DEQ officials; they say a work plan has been approved for maintaining the integrity of remediation infrastructure during any future construction.

According to the permit application, Smart Foods Bozeman would be a 20,000-square-foot grocery store selling foods in bulk.

The plans call for adding a new surface detention pond behind the proposed building. The project is conditionally approved until the plan is finalized.

For more information on the Bozeman Solvent Site, visit this website.