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Next Phase of Cleanup for Plainfield's Inter Royal Site

Release Date: 09/23/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: David Deegan (, EPA Office of Public Affairs, (617) 918-1017

For Immediate Release: September 23, 2005; Release # dd050916

EPA and the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), in coordination with local officials, will begin the next phase of cleanup this week at the former Inter Royal Site located at 20 Reservoir St. in Plainfield, Conn. EPA and DEP are each committing $750,000 towards the planned $1.5 million cleanup.

After a fire broke out at the Inter Royal mill complex late last April, DEP and the Plainfield Fire Department requested that EPA emergency personnel be dispatched to the scene to conduct air monitoring and sampling for potential airborne asbestos fibers, lead and particulate dust. In the hours and days following the fire, EPA remained at the site to clean up asbestos-contaminated debris from nearby neighborhoods where it had been transported by the fire. In the ensuing weeks, EPA demolished the unstable fire damaged shell of the former 3-story structure and conducted extensive sampling activities within the former building footprint.

The upcoming work, which will address asbestos and lead contaminated debris in the ruins of the fire, includes:

    • Collecting asbestos-contaminated material from the vicinity of the former boiler room and other areas within the building ruins;
    • Removing brick, wood, metal and other building debris so that the work crews can safely access lead-contaminated ash and surface soil;
    • Excavating lead-contaminated ash and surface soils;
    • Disposing of the asbestos and lead contaminated ash and soil at a permitted off-site facility; and,
    • Grading and backfilling of the excavated areas as needed.
Cleanup crews will take measures to suppress dust and monitor the air during the excavation activities to confirm that contamination is not migrating off site.

The upcoming work is being conducted jointly by EPA and DEP. While EPA’s contractors will be conducting the on-site cleanup activities and disposal of the asbestos and the lead-contaminated ash and soils; DEP’s contractors will be conducting off-site disposal of building debris and rubble. The Town of Plainfield plans to provide logistical support, traffic control, and clean backfill for the site, if needed.

This cleanup is made possible by the close coordination and a true sense of partnership among EPA, DEP, Governor Rell’s office, the Northeast District Department of Health, and the Town of Plainfield. This sense of partnership will continue throughout the cleanup with EPA and DEP directing cleanup activities in a unified fashion, utilizing the principles of the Incident Command System (ICS).

The site is a former mill complex originally constructed in the early 1900s and most recently used by the Inter Royal Corporation to manufacture office furniture until it shut down operations in 1985. The mill building, which has been without electricity, heat, and water or fire protection since it was abandoned, had fallen into an advanced state of decay before the fire in April. The upcoming cleanup activities are limited to the northern portion of the site where the remains of the fire-damaged three-story structure are located.

The work is expected to take between 4 and 5 months to complete, weather permitting. More information on the project can be found at: .

Related Information:
Inter Royal Fact Sheet
Cleanup Process
Superfund in New England