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Release Date: 09/11/1996
Contact Information: Sarah White, Community Relations, (617) 918-1026 Mike McGagh, TAG Program Manager (617) 223-5534

BOSTON--- The Environmental Protection Agency awarded a $50,000 grant to the Lakewood Association to oversee the Superfund cleanup at the Natick Laboratory Army Research Development and Engineering Center in Massachusetts.

The technical assistance grant (TAG) enables citizens to hire independent technical experts (such as toxicologists, chemists and biologists) to assist them in monitoring investigations and cleanups at EPA Superfund sites.

"The health and safety of members of the community are the top priority of members of the Lakewood Association," said Dr. Charles Czeisler, President of the Lakewood Association, Inc. "We are very pleased that this EPA Technical Assistance Grant will allow members of the neighboring community at greatest risk of exposure to any toxic chemicals in the groundwater supply system to monitor effectively cleanup plans at the Natick Army Labs Superfund site."

The Natick Laboratory is a 74-acre facility situated on a peninsula on the eastern shore of Lake Cochituate and is bordered on the north by a residential area. The Army built the facility in 1954 and has since used the area for industrial, laboratory and storage activities for research and development in the areas of food and science. During its operation, the Army used a variety of hazardous compounds, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs), turpentine, paints and inks.

Approximately 37,000 people live within four miles of the military installation, which was designated a federal Superfund site in 1994.

In 1989, soil, groundwater and air samples taken from the site revealed high levels of VOCs and heavy metals. The Evergreen and Springfield Municipal well fields are in an area that may be threatened by contaminated groundwater.

Note: The Natick Laboratory Restoration Advisory Board will meet at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 11 at the Officers Club at the Natick Army Labs on Kansas Street in Natick. Tonight the board will vote on the Lakewood Association's membership to the board. For more information on the status of the cleanup program at Natick -- or tonight's meeting -- contact John McHugh Environmental Project Manager at (508) 233-5550.