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News Releases from Region 01

Soil Remediation to Begin at Superfund Site in Walpole, Mass.

Contact Information: 
Emily Bender (bender.emily@epa.gov)

Boston - Work to excavate and remove contaminated soil at the Blackburn and Union Privileges Superfund Site begins this week. The soil remediation is focused on South Street on the east side properties, where the former Cosmec building sits.

This week, contractors for the Responsible Parties began pre-construction activities including setting up support trailers, placing fencing and warning signs around the property, and preparing the site to be worked on. Over the next two months, workers will be onsite generally 5 days per week to tear up pavement, excavate contaminated soil and replace it with clean fill. As the soil gets excavated, it will be loaded onto trucks and transported off-site to an appropriate waste disposal facility. Clean soil will be brought in to fill in the areas that are excavated.

Once the contaminated soil from the site is removed and clean soil is filled in, workers will then restore the site. Restoration plans have been coordinated with the Town of Walpole. The Town owns the property and has future plans for the property. The areas of the site that were formerly paved will be left as a crushed stone surface. The wetlands will be restored with native plantings.

The Blackburn & Union Privileges Site located in Walpole, MA was added to the Superfund National Priority List in 1994 and includes industrial properties and undeveloped or residential properties and other areas where contamination has come to be located. Industrial and commercial processes on the site date back to the 1600s. Between 1891 and 1915, the site was used for manufacturing of tires, rubber goods, and insulating materials. The crushing of raw asbestos in the manufacturing of brake and clutch linings occurred at the site between 1915 and 1937. Various cotton and fabric production processes were conducted at the site from 1937 until 1985.

As a result of these industrial operations, soil, sediment and groundwater are contaminated with inorganic chemicals (including asbestos and metals), volatile organic compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and highly alkaline compounds.

For more information: www.epa.gov/superfund/blackburn