Cleanup of RI’s Blackstone River Superfund Site Proposed

Cleanup of RI’s Blackstone River Superfund Site Proposed
Blackstone River at Pawtucket, RI looking upstream. Photo/NOAA

ecoRInews.com: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a proposed clean-up plan for the Peterson/Puritan Inc. Superfund site on the Cumberland-Lincoln line [in Rhode Island]. The main components of the plan include the J. M. Mills landfill, the Nunes parcel and an area between them called “Unnamed Island.” The site is within the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor.

A public hearing will be held Thursday, Aug. 21, at 6:30 p.m. in the Cumberland Public Library, 1464 Diamond Hill Road. During this hearing, the public is invited to provide comment on the proposed plan that will be recorded as part of the public record. EPA representatives will not be responding to comment at this hearing but will provide a written response in the final clean-up plan. An informational meeting was held Aug. 7.

The proposed plan explains the various clean-up options being considered by the EPA, including the agency’s preferred alternative to address contamination of the soil, sediment, groundwater and landfill waste. The goal is to implement a remedy that addresses contamination and is protective of public health and the environment, according to the EPA. The approximate cost for EPA’s preferred clean-up alternative is estimated at $40.3 million.

The results of the remedial Investigation conducted at the site between 2001 and 2012 revealed contamination in the floodplain soils, sediment and groundwater, and a large volume of waste from the J.M. Mills landfill area that extended into the floodplain along the Blackstone River, according to the EPA.

Among the contaminants found in the soil, sediment and groundwater were volatile organic compounds (VOCs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), pesticides, metals and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

Read more about the proposed clean-up of the Blackstone River Superfund site.