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Domina Law Group Forges Ahead with TCE Exposure Investigation


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently finished its assessment of the old Clinton Engines site in Maquoketa and issued a report stating the property did not contain dangerous amounts of trichloroethylene (TCE). While this is good news for the citizens of Maquoketa, it’s also not the whole story. The EPA report was narrow in scope, focusing only on airborne contaminants. Meanwhile, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will continue testing groundwater samples at the site to determine how far the dangerous chemical has spread.

Contamination at the Site Is Not a New Concern

Shortly before the Clinton Engines site was sold to the city of Maquoketa, tests showed potentially hazardous levels of volatile compounds in groundwater at the site. One of these chemicals was TCE. Used in a variety of industrial situations, TCE can harm those who inhale or ingest it. Long-term exposure can have a detrimental effect on an individual’s health.

Because Clinton Engines started operations in the 1950s, it was unregulated for much of its history, and therefore took a lax approach to contamination. TCE from the plant has leached into the soil and groundwater and been discovered as far as two-thirds of a mile away. Where TCE is present in groundwater, it may also be in the air, meaning multiple property owners are at risk. The city asked over 100 landowners in the city for permission to monitor groundwater on their properties for dangerous chemicals. The results show the city still has work to do in cleaning up the old factory site.

Read more in a recent article published by Maquoketa Sentinel-Press.

Representing the Victims of TCE Exposure

At Domina Law, we have extensive experience handling TCE contamination cases. We’ve seen firsthand the effect long-term exposure to this chemical can have on individuals. Symptoms include:

  • Irritation of the eyes, nose, and/or throat
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Confusion
  • Nausea and vomiting

TCA has been linked to serious medical concerns including heart problems and liver and kidney damage. The chemical is known to interfere with the central nervous and endocrine systems. It has also been linked to multiple types of cancer. If a pregnant mother is exposed, she may be more likely to miscarry or give birth to a baby with congenital disabilities.

What To Do After Potential Exposure

Landowners in Maquoketa may have been inhaling TCE for decades because of the way the chemical spreads. Though officials have stressed that the contamination has not reached areas from which Maquoketa’s water is pulled, our team is determined to stay on top of all potential exposure risks.

If you live within a mile of the former Clinton Engines site, located at 605 S. Maple St., we encourage you to reach out to our team for a free consultation. We are representing multiple clients who have suffered symptoms associated with TCE exposure, and we can help you and your family as well.

The city of Maquoketa was negligent in not warning its citizens about the potential risk of exposure to dangerous chemicals that leached from the Clinton Engines site into surrounding land and groundwater. We are here to hold officials accountable and help those who were harmed recover compensation for their many losses.

Reach out to Domina Law Group at (888) 387-4134 to schedule your free consultation with one of our attorneys. We plan to keep abreast of this matter until we find answers—and justice—for our clients.