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Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England

Parsons Paper Mill

Parsons Paper Mill

The Parsons Paper Mill is located at 84 Sargeant Street, near the center of Holyoke in a mixed industrial/commercial/residential area. It is comprised of 4.61 acres and is currently zoned for general industry, although residences are located within 500 feet of the property.

On June 9, 2008, a fire destroyed about 50% of the mill that is made up of five interconnected buildings. They ranged from two to four stories in height and once occupied about 330,642 square feet. The fire burned down two sections of the mill. The largest burned section was the portion situated along the northwestern property line, adjacent to the First Level Canal and to Sargeant Street. The other burned building was situated adjacent to the southwest and to the southeast. The remaining portions of the interconnected building complex were damaged by the fire and are situated in a perpendicular direction (northwest to southeast) relative to the canal system. There are multi-segmented basements and sub-basements throughout the burned and unburned mill buildings. Apart from the building structures, the grounds are covered by asphalt pavement or packed gravel for parking. The site is secured by a chain link fence.

According to information provided by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (Mass. DEP), the rubble from the burned and collapsed portion of the mill, estimated to be a volume of approximately 5,000 cubic yards, currently exists in piles at the northern portion of the property, filling portions of the building foundation. It contains primarily brick rubble, with some amounts of other solid wastes, including wood and metal. The rubble from the fire is an asbestos-containing waste material, according to DEP's regulations, based on positive asbestos tests of the demolition debris and other materials within the mill. Asbestos sources include asphalt shingles, window glazing/caulking, tank and pipe insulation, trans-site siding, cements/mastics, and floor tiles.

On September 2, 2009, EPA conducted a Preliminary Assessment and Site Investigation (PA/SI) that included collecting for asbestos analysis debris and pipe insulation material that had fallen on the site. The structurally unsafe areas around the remaining portions of the building allowed for only 10 samples to be collected. They were analyzed at EPA's New England Regional Laboratory and revealed that friable asbestos (up to 14%) was present in the burned areas. Asbestos-like pipe insulation material also was visible in other locations but could not be accessed. The DEP provided EPA additional data that confirmed the EPA's analysis. The data consisted of samples the DEP and Tighe & Bond (consultant to the site owner) collected in August 2008. These revealed friable asbestos up to 40% in the burned rubble, and Tighe & Bond's showed friable asbestos up to 70%.

Once the PA/SI was concluded, a removal action was recommended based on site conditions and preliminary analytical results. As of April 26, 2010, the site has been treated for asbestos and other harmful chemicals, and all visible and other potential threats have been removed.

Location: Holyoke, MA
EPA Mobilization Date*: 10/28/2009
EPA Demobilization Date*: 04/26/2010
Contact: Claudia Deane (deane.claudia@epa.gov)

*The information contained on this website is merely informational; any dates found on the website cannot be relied upon to create any rights, substantive or procedural, enforceable by any party in litigation with the United States. EPA reserves the right to change such dates at any time without public notice.

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