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With Summers Arrival, Reminder About Woonasquatucket River "Do's and Don'ts" and Update on EPA Efforts

Contact Information: 
Emily Bender (

BOSTON - As summer weather tempts local youth to find a place to swim, EPA reminds the public to use the Woonasquatucket River responsibly. Specifically, residents of North Providence, Johnston, and Providence should keep in mind that contamination in and along the river may pose a health risk.

EPA asks that people keep in mind the following Do's & Don'ts for the Woonasquatucket River:

  • Don't eat fish, turtles, eels, other wildlife or plants from the Woonasquatucket River;
  • Don't wade in the shallow water or swim in the river;
  • Don't dig into the river banks; and
  • Do obey the warning signs posted along the river.

With spring and summer weather in full force, the Woonasquatucket River is an appealing spot for children. While EPA has made progress in cleaning up dioxin contaminated areas, parents, teachers, and camp counselors should remain vigilant to ensure that children are protected from dioxin and other contaminants remaining in the water, sediment and soil. Walking, running, or bike riding along the river, and paddling a canoe or kayak on the river are ways to safely enjoy the river. However, people should wash thoroughly after any contact with the river water, sediment or soil.

In September 2012 EPA issued a Record of Decision with a cleanup plan for addressing contamination in Allendale and Lyman Mill Ponds and floodplain areas. The Centredale Manor Restoration Project Superfund Site Proposed Cleanup Plan can be reviewed at the North Providence and Johnston public libraries. Since 2012 EPA implemented additional interim action along Allendale and Lyman Mill areas to further restrict access to floodplain soils and to protect nearby residents from coming into contact with contamination. Currently, EPA is in litigation with the responsible parties in an effort to compel performance of the cleanup. EPA anticipates a decision by fall of this year.

More information on the Woonasquatucket River and Centredale Manor cleanup (