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Excavation of Contaminated Soils Completed at 48 Properties Near Temple Stuart Site in Baldwinville

Release Date: 08/25/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: David Deegan (, EPA Office of Public Affairs, (617) 918-1017

For Immediate Release: August 25, 2005; Release # dd050815

(Boston) - EPA has finished excavation of soils contaminated with PCBs from 48 residential properties near the former Temple Stuart facility, in Baldwinville, Mass.

Since 2003, more than 12,000 tons of contaminated soil have been excavated and shipped off-site for disposal at an authorized facility. The contamination is believed to have settled on the nearby neighborhood from waste burning operations that occurred during past at the former Temple Stuart facility. In 2002, EPA completed a $3.5 million cleanup of the facility itself.

EPA has been working in the community to remove contaminated soils from the neighborhood near the former manufacturing facility. The soil was contaminated with PCBs - polychlorinated biphenyls - which are very toxic and environmentally persistent chemicals. The manufacture of PCBs was stopped in the U.S. in 1977 due to evidence that PCBs build up in the environment and can cause harmful health effects. The cleanup costs to date are approximately $5 million.

During summer and fall of 2004, EPA oversaw the excavation of contaminated surface soils from 26 properties located closest to the former Temple Stuart facility. After a brief break during the winter months, EPA returned in the spring to restore this first phase of properties, including backfilling the excavated areas with sand, clean soil and loam, and hydro-seeding. Over the next several weeks, EPA contractors will plant trees and shrubs to replace those that were removed during the excavation activities.

The project expanded last spring to include an additional 22 properties which were sampled as part of a second phase of work. The sampling and excavation activities on these properties were conducted concurrent with the restoration activities on the first group of properties. The second group of properties is being restored and trees and shrubs will be replanted later in the fall.

By working on properties in phases, EPA has been able to ensure that contamination is cleaned as quickly and efficiently as possible, while also adapting the work as individual residents provide input. EPA will begin sampling a third group of approximately 30 properties later this fall to determine whether additional excavation work will be necessary.

More information on this site is available at: .

More information on PCBs is available at: .

Related Information:
Baldwinville Residential Properties Site Fact Sheet