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Release Date: 01/25/2000
Contact Information: Alice Kaufman, EPA Community Affairs Office 617-918-1064

BOSTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has finished moving more than 20,400 tons of soil contaminated with chromium from a dumping area in Berkley, Mass. The EPA began removing soil from Bogs Landing in May 1998 and on Jan. 11 sent the last truckload off-site for disposal at the Taunton Municipal Landfill.

The six-acre site off of North Main Street received waste from the now defunct Geilich Tannery in Taunton from the 1930s through the mid 1960s. EPA New England and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) began investigating Bogs Landing in the spring of 1996 and after two years of site investigation and soil testing found the soil contained elevated levels of chromium, lesser amounts of pentachlorophenol and other semi-volatiles, and dioxin.

"The people who live and work near Bogs Landing can breath a little easier knowing that area has been cleaned," said Mindy Lubber, acting regional administrator for EPA New England. "After decades of dumping, followed by years of testing and trucking, we can finally say the Bogs Landing parcel is clean."

Town residents and government officials had been concerned that Bogs Landing may impact private wells near the parcel as well as a nearby cranberry bog development. The community was also worried about contaminated material posing a health threat to hunters, mountain bikers and other people who use the area for recreational purposes. In addition, the contamination was an ecological threat to surrounding wetlands, which host a wide variety of wildlife and plant species.

According to Gary Lipson, EPA's on-scene coordinator for the cleanup, the project cost an estimated $2.3 million to complete. After the job was completed, EPA donated about 1,200 feet of chain link fence that was used at the site to the town of Berkley for reuse.