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EPA Proposes Modifications to Centredale Manor Restoration Project Superfund Site Remedy in North Providence and Johnston, Rhode Island

07/17/2019
Contact Information: 
David Deegan (deegan.dave@epa.gov)
617-918-1017

North Providence, R.I. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed modifications to the cleanup remedy at the Centredale Manor Restoration Project Superfund Site, located in North Providence and Johnston, Rhode Island. If adopted, the modified remedy would update the cleanup remedy selected for the site in a "Record of Decision" (ROD) issued in 2012.

EPA is providing a 30-day opportunity for public comment on the proposed changes. The comment period begins on Thursday July 18, 2019 and ends on Friday August 16, 2019. 

"EPA remains firmly committed to protecting public health and the environment by proceeding with an effective cleanup program at the Centredale Manor Restoration Project Superfund Site," said EPA New England Acting Regional Administrator Deborah Szaro. "We look forward to working with area residents and officials to implement the proposed modifications which will benefit the Woonasquatucket River and its surrounding community."

"Through the $100 million settlement that the U.S. Department of Justice, EPA, and DEM announced last summer, we ensured that the polluters will pay for this cleanup," said Rhode Island DEM Director Janet Coit. "Today's announcement is about ensuring that our remedy protects public health and allows us to reclaim recreational uses of the river as effectively and quickly as possible."

The details of EPA's proposed modifications to the remedy are described in a Draft Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD). In this Draft ESD, EPA is proposing the following changes: 

  • An expansion of the disposal options for the disposal of contaminated sediment and floodplain soil to be excavated from the site, which would allow for disposal in an existing solid-waste landfill such that the construction of a new disposal facility, as contemplated in the ROD, may no longer be necessary. The most highly-contaminated material would still be sent off-site for treatment and disposal at a hazardous waste facility.
  • EPA will defer to the State of Rhode Island's classification of the groundwater under the source area of the site following EPA's endorsement of the State of Rhode Island's Core Comprehensive State Groundwater Protection Program, resulting in modifications to the groundwater component of the remedy.
  • A modification of the source area soil component based on the results of a pre-design investigation of buried waste in the source area.

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management supports these proposed changes to the 2012 ROD, pending review of the public comments received. Upon closure of the public comment period, EPA will issue a final ESD along with a summary of the comments received and EPA's responses.

Background

The Centredale Manor Restoration Project Superfund Site consists of a 9-acre source area and 1.5 miles of the Woonasquatucket River, including Lyman Mill and Allendale Ponds and its floodplain. The area is contaminated with dioxin and other contaminants from chemical production and drum reconditioning that took place on site from the 1940s to the 1970s. Following a thorough investigation and analysis and with public input, EPA decided on a remedy for addressing contamination at the Site in September 2012. In December 2017, EPA identified the site as a targeted site for immediate and intense action.

Following years of litigation, the United States, Rhode Island, and Emhart Industries, Inc. and Black and Decker Inc. (collectively "Emhart") reached a mediated settlement agreement in July 2018. Emhart agreed to perform the 2012 ROD pursuant to a Consent Decree, which was entered by the District Court for the District of Rhode Island on April 8, 2019. Emhart will clean up the site in phases, from upstream to downstream, and will construct a permanent cap in the source area and excavate and remove contaminated floodplain soil and sediment from the river. The entire project is expected to take 5-6 years and will be performed under EPA and RIDEM oversight. Emhart began the remedial design of the remedy in 2018, upon lodging of the Consent Decree, and has been conducting several pre-design investigations starting with the source area. Issuance of a final ESD will allow Emhart to proceed with the actual construction of the cleanup.

For more information

Review the Draft Explanation of Significant Differences for the Centredale Manor Restoration Project Superfund Site: https://cumulis.epa.gov/supercpad/SiteProfiles/index.cfm?fuseaction=second.ars&id=0101388&doc=Y&colid=65567&region=01&type=AR .

EPA's information on past and ongoing efforts to clean up the Centredale Manor Restoration Project Superfund Site, including the full administrative record: www.epa.gov/superfund/centredale .

All of these materials are also available at Information Repositories located in the North Providence Public Library, 1810 Mineral Spring Avenue North Providence, Rhode Island, 401-353-5600, the Marion J. Mohr Memorial Library, 1 Memorial Avenue, Johnston, Rhode Island, 401-231-4980, as well as the EPA Records Center, 5 Post Office Square, Boston, Massachusetts, 617-918-1440.

Comments on this proposal should be submitted no later than August 16, 2019 to

Anna Krasko
US EPA Region 1 Mail code: 07-1
5 Post Office Square, Suite 100
Boston, MA 02109-3912
or krasko.anna@epa.gov; or by fax at 617-918-0232.