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Environmental Clean-up Continues at Danversport, Mass. Explosion
Release Date: 12/08/2006
Contact Information: Sheryl Rosner, (617) 918-1865
(Boston, Mass. – Dec. 8, 2006) - Since the early morning explosion in Danvers, Mass. on Nov. 22, 2006, EPA and Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) have been working to protect public health and reduce environmental impacts left by the forceful blast. The site was turned over to EPA one week later to take the lead and begin removing any chemical and hazardous waste materials and debris remaining at the site.
“EPA operations will continue until health and environmental threats are addressed, with our first priority being to stabilize the site,” said Mike Nalipinski, EPA’s On Scene Coordinator. “As we carefully work to remove hazardous materials, we continuously monitor the air to ensure that public health is being protected.”
To date, EPA’s air monitoring has shown no elevated levels of concern for public health. All of the sampling data has been reviewed by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and Mass. Dept. of Public Health (MDPH). The Agencies jointly issued the following statement after evaluating EPA’s latest air sampling data:
“ATSDR and Mass DPH conclude that none of the concentrations of any of the contaminants detected in the fourth round of sampling represent a health concern under the exposure conditions expected at this site. ATSDR and MDPH are available to provide consultations on further issues arising from this event.”
If elevated levels of contaminants are detected within the work area, EPA will assess the work activities to reduce contaminant levels and additional monitoring will be conducted. To ensure the safety of the residents located near the site, EPA will respond to residential reports of potential air contamination by providing real time air monitoring near the residence where the concern originated.
Many containers holding hazardous materials were exposed to the elements after the blast, presenting an ongoing risk to public health and the environment. For the past several days, EPA has focused on securing leaking or damaged drums and sampling the contents of the containers. Once secured, the wastes and any hazardous materials will be characterized, drums will be emptied and they and the contents will be disposed of at a licensed facility.
In addition to the work to remove debris and waste and address immediate concerns for the neighborhood, EPA has sent investigators to the site to look into the cause of the explosion and evaluate compliance with environmental laws.
EPA and Danvers Town Manager Wayne Marquis will be hosting a neighborhood meeting at 7 p.m. on Dec. 20th in the cafeteria of the Riverside School to update neighborhood residents on the project.
More information: EPA’s clean up efforts at the Danversport Explosion (epa.gov/ne/danvers)
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