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Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England

Danversport Explosion

Danversport Explosion

EPA responded to a chemical plant explosion and resulting 10-alarm fire at CAI, Inc. in Danvers, Mass. on Nov. 22, 2006. Nearly 90 homes were damaged and many were destroyed. Initially, these homes and several others were evacuated. Ten of the more than 300 people believed to be at home at the time of the explosion suffered minor injuries. Numerous boats at the nearby Liberty Marina on the Waters River were damaged, and the explosion was felt by residents up to 20 miles away.

Two plants, CAI, Inc. and Arnel Company, were located in one building. CAI is a 21-year old family-run company headquartered in Georgetown, Mass. that manufactures inks and coatings. Arnel is a surface coating manufacturer. Initial efforts focused on fire suppression. Though the site is in the U.S. Coast Guard "area of responsibility," EPA took air and water samples to assess human health and environmental impacts. It also provided public information support. After scrap steel was removed, surface soil samples were collected and the top 6 to 12 inches of soil were excavated and staged for disposal. EPA collected a second set of samples from the excavated area. Post-excavation sample results showed concentrations of chemicals meeting state standards. On March 9, 2007, all EPA site activities were completed (including the final soil shipment), and all equipment and personnel left the site. Completed activities included consolidation, transportation, disposal of the wastes and cleanup of the building footprint.

Throughout removal operations, EPA conducted air monitoring and sampling in accordance with the site Ambient Air Monitoring and Sampling Plan and/or as directed by the Environmental Unit Leader. Health assessments were coordinated with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, the state Department of Public Health and the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Location: Danvers, MA
Start date: 11/22/2006
End date: 03/09/2007
Contact: Claudia Deane (deane.claudia@epa.gov)

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