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Cleanup to Begin at Kenyon Piece Landfill, RI

Release Date: 08/05/2008
Contact Information: Jeanethe Falvey 617.918.1020

(Boston, Mass.—August 5, 2008)— The United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) is scheduled to begin a cleanup of hazardous materials present at the former Kenyon Piece landfill located on Sand Plain Road in Charlestown, Rhode Island. The cleanup is expected to begin later this August and will take approximately six months from start to finish. This cleanup will be a coordinated effort between the EPA, the City of Charlestown and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.

Initial site investigations found seven pits with buried drums and containers in various stages of decay. Initial soil and groundwater sampling found that the highest concentrations of contaminants were found in and around the buried drums. Metals (lead) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including toluene, ethybenzene, tetrachloroethene and naphthalene, have been found in the soil and groundwater on site. The cleanup is being driven primarily by the concern that contaminants could migrate and potentially contaminate private drinking water supplies in the site’s vicinity.

In addition to the potential for migration of contaminants to drinking water supplies, trespassing on this property could potentially expose a person to hazardous materials, further emphasizing the need for cleanup. While vehicular access is deterred by the presence of some limited fencing, pedestrian access to the site has been unrestricted. For the duration of the cleanup, public access will be restricted with more fencing and signs.

Cleanup activities will include the excavation, sampling and safe packing of buried drums and containers prior to their transportation off site to a certified hazardous waste disposal facility. As the containers are exhumed, they will be carefully logged and inspected for any labeling information that may indicate their origins. Air monitoring will be performed around the site perimeter during invasive cleanup activities due to the presence of VOCs, with engineering controls in place if an air quality issue arises.

Clean fill will be brought in to backfill disturbed areas at the completion of the cleanup. The total estimated cost of this cleanup is not yet known as the exact number of buried drums present at the site is unknown and further site analysis is necessary to determine the extent of surrounding soil and groundwater contamination from the leaking drums. EPA will remain on site with the City of Charlestown until the completion of the project.

For more information on EPA’s Emergency Response Program and Removal Actions: