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Clean Up Work Begins at Abandoned Property in Turner Falls, Mass.

Release Date: 10/18/04
Contact Information:

For Immediate Release: October 18, 2004

Contact: David Deegan, 617-918-1017; Release # 04-10-24

Boston - Work will begin this week on a $250,000 cleanup at the Dubois Property Site in Turners Falls, MA. The half-acre property, once was used as an auto dealership and repair shop, and later as a storage facility, has lead and PCB contamination in surface soils around the building. The site has been abandoned for about the past fifteen years.

Located at Third and Canal Streets in Turners Falls, the site includes a single-story building of approximately 50,000 square feet, which is in an advanced state of disrepair. Inside the building are abandoned drums and other containers. It is possible that asbestos is in the building materials.

“I am pleased that EPA is beginning the work in Turner Falls, in order to return this abandoned property to productive use for the community,” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England regional office.

EPA will utilize a phased approach during the clean up. First, the site will be secured to prevent unauthorized access and conduct additional soil sampling to identify the limits of the contaminated soils requiring excavation. The second phase will involve excavation of contaminated soils and demolition of the remnants of the building (as needed) to allow access to the drums. During this work, EPA will sample building materials to determine whether asbestos is present. The third phase of the cleanup will include shipping the contaminated soils, drums, and asbestos (if encountered) off-site for disposal at EPA-approved facilities. The work is expected to take less than nine months, weather permitting. Additional information on the project is available at .

“This cleanup is the result of a coordinated effort involving EPA’s Brownfields program, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, the Franklin Regional Council of Governments, and the Town of Montague,” said Frank Gardner, EPA’s On-Scene Coordinator who will manage the cleanup on a day-to-day basis.

The Town of Montague will remove non-hazardous waste and debris from the site simultaneously with the EPA cleanup effort. Following cleanup, town officials hope to construct a parking facility on the site. Cleanup of the garage and redevelopment of the site is part of a comprehensive revitalization program for the village of Turners Falls.

“This project will remove the most severe example of blight remaining in the downtown historic district,” said Town Planner Robin Sherman. “We believe that it will increase property values, encourage private investment, and facilitate redevelopment of other underutilized properties, including the Strathmore Mill.” Town officials expressed gratitude to the current owners of the property for their cooperation in the cleanup effort.

Cleanup of the Dubois property is the culmination of several years of work by the Town and the Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG). In 2002, the Town received a Massachusetts Municipal Brownfields grant to prepare conceptual plans for a parking facility on the site. In 2003, FRCOG completed an Environment Site Assessment of the property with funding from EPA. “This project is an excellent example of how local, regional, state and federal agencies can work together to promote environmental cleanup and economic development,” said Linda Dunlavy, Executive Director of the Franklin Regional Council of Governments. “We hope it will provide a model for other communities struggling with brownfields issues in the region.”

Related Information:
Brownfields Program in
New England

NE Brownfields Success Stories