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Excavation of Contaminated Soils to Begin at 12 Additional Properties Near Temple Stuart Site in Baldwinville, Mass.

Release Date: 04/13/2006
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – April 13, 2006) - EPA will begin work next week to remove soils contaminated with PCBs from twelve residential properties near the former Temple Stuart facility in Baldwinville, Mass.

Since 2003, EPA has excavated more than 13,000 tons of contaminated soil from 48 residential properties and shipped the soil off-site for disposal at an authorized facility. The contamination is believed to have settled on the nearby neighborhood from waste burning activities that occurred during past operations at the former Temple Stuart facility. In 2002, EPA completed a $3.5 million cleanup of the facility itself.

Over the next several months, EPA contractors will be planting trees and shrubs on 13 properties to replace those that were removed during the excavation activities last season. Concurrently, EPA will begin excavating soils from the additional 12 properties. Once excavation activities are completed at these properties, they too will be backfilled with sand, clean soil and loam, hydro-seeded, and trees and shrubs will be replaced. In addition, one new property requires sampling, bringing the total properties sampled to 99.

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.

Throughout the project, EPA has conducted the sampling, excavation and restoration activities in phases, which has enabled the contaminated soil to be removed as quickly and efficiently as possible, while also adapting the work as individual residents provided input.

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