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Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England

The Former Burnham Property

This Success Story was completed before the signing of the 2002 Brownfields Legislation. The Assessment Demonstration Pilot Program is now called the Assessment Grant Program.

Success in Assessment Demonstration Grant Program
Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commission Brownfields Reuse Project
Windsor, VT

(September 16, 2002)

Photo of Traditional Management Company at former Burnham Property

Traditional Management Company at former Burnham Property

The Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commission (SWCRPC) has been awarded $350,000 by the EPA Brownfields Assessment Demonstration Pilot Program. SWCRPC used a portion of those funds to partner with the town of Windsor, Springfield Regional Development Corporation, the Burnham Estate, Country Real Estate, and Lyme Investment Corporation to assess and clean up a property that once housed an old dump. An accounting firm is now located at that site, employing at least 8 people.

The Burnham Property is located on Route 5 in Windsor, Vermont. The town of Windsor leased the property from the Burnham family and used portions of the property as a dump between 1936 and 1954. Few records exist regarding the amount and type of material processed at the former Windsor Town Dump. However, it was reported that the dump received industrial wastes during the years of operation. This material reportedly included cyanide wastes, cutting oils, and metal scraps from a machine tool company located in Windsor. In 1968, a private residence was built on the property. The residence is currently unoccupied.

In 1989, the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (VTANR) performed a preliminary assessment of the site. In 1998, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) contractor completed a site inspection of the Burnham Property. This inspection included collecting soil samples from the property and a water sample from the bedrock supply well. Two volatile organic compounds, 1,2-DCA and methylene chloride, were identified in water collected from the bedrock supply well at levels below the regulatory limits. The EPA categorized the contamination as attributed to on-site sources and recommended that no further federal remediation action be planned for the site.

The bedrock supply well was sampled again in 1999 by the VTANR. Low levels of the same VOCs were detected again. The VTANR performed a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA). The major findings indicated that the property should be connected to the municipal drinking-water system, future use of the area should minimize excavation in the former dumping areas, and that groundwater testing in the immediate vicinity of the dump should be performed.

Marin Environmental performed additional assessment activities and submitted the final Phase II ESA report on November 22, 2000. The purpose of the Phase II ESA was to determine if former dump activities had impacted soil and overburden groundwater on the property and to evaluate the lateral extent of buried materials in the dumping area. Site work completed last fall showed trace amounts of metals and levels of lead and arsenic slightly higher than State standards. It included drilling test borings on the property to confirm the location of the dump and installing four monitoring wells down gradient of the dumping area before the state of Vermont would take the site off of the active hazardous sites list. The recommendation was to connect the property to the municipal water system, or to test the current well again and to do some monitoring in the spring. The wells were retested the following spring and it was determined that the VOC concentrations had diminished.

The Country Real Estate of Hartland, VT entered into negotiations with Lyme Investment Company when the site was undergoing site assessment work. A purchase and sales agreement was signed the week after site work was completed on November 16, 2000, and the property was redeveloped to house Traditional Management Company, an accounting firm, employing at least 8 people.

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