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NPL Site Narrative for Baird & McGuire

BAIRD & MCGUIRE
Holbrook, Massachusetts

Federal Register Notice:  September 08, 1983

Conditions at listing (December 1982): The Baird & McGuire Site covers about 15 acres in Holbrook, Norfolk County, Massachusetts. Since 1912, the company has run a batching operation, mixing and packaging pesticides, emulsifiers, floor waxes, strippers, disinfectants, coal-tar emulsions, and associated products. The site is 500 feet west of the Cochato River, which is diverted 2.5 miles downstream into the Richardi Reservoir, part of the water system serving nearly 90,000 people in Braintree, Holbrook, and Randolph. The site is also located within 1,000 feet of Holbrook's South Street Well Field, which was abandoned due to contamination. Analyses of on-site ground water show high levels of arsenic and numerous organic compounds. Creosote is found in ground water between the site and the Cochato River. Similar organic contamination has been documented since 1958 in the South Street Well Field. Up to 10 parts per million of organic compounds were detected in the air on-site.

Status (July 1983): In March 1983, a prolonged period of heavy rain raised the levels of ground water and the Cochato River, creating an oil slick on the river. EPA's Emergency Response Team came in and brought the situation under control. EPA ordered Baird & McGuire to undertake 14 tasks to immediately stabilize the site. The company performed some of the tasks but informed EPA that it was financially unable to implement all of them. In April 1983, EPA approved $192,000 in emergency funds to (1) erect a fence, (2) install a system to divert run-off, (3) collect hydrogeological data on-site, and (4) evaluate and modify an existing system to control ground water. This work is currently underway.

EPA recently completed a Remedial Action Master Plan outlining the investigations needed to determine the full extent of cleanup required at the site. It was circulated for public review on May 17, 1983. The next step, expected to begin in the fall of 1983, is a remedial investigation/feasibility study to determine the type and extent of contamination at the site and to identify alternatives for remedial action.

For more information about the hazardous substances identified in this narrative summary, including general information regarding the effects of exposure to these substances on human health, please see the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ToxFAQs. ATSDR ToxFAQs can be found on the Internet at ATSDR - ToxFAQs (http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/index.asp) or by telephone at 1-888-42-ATSDR or 1-888-422-8737.

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