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Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England
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  BLACKBURN AND UNION PRIVILEGES


Map this site in Cleanups in My Community
 Walpole,  Massachusetts
 Norfolk County
 Street Address: SOUTH ST.
 Zip Code: 02081
 Congressional
 District(s):

09
 EPA ID #: MAD982191363
 Site ID #: 0101713
 Site Aliases: South Street Site, Shaffer Realty Trust

 Site Responsibility: Federal, Potentially Responsible Parties

 NPL LISTING HISTORY
 Proposed Date 02/07/1992
 Final Date 05/31/1994

Site Description
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The Blackburn and Union Privileges site is located in a primarily residential area. Once known as The Blackburn Privilege and The Union Factory Privilege, these two areas were originally part of 10 distinct water privileges established along the Neponset River in the 17th century. Snuff, iron, nails, cotton, and wool were produced at the Union Privilege site; a tannery also was located in this area. Power was generated by a dam on the Blackburn Privilege for the production of machinery, cotton, yarn, batting, and lamp wicking. Since the 17th century, industrial and commercial facilities have been active on 6 of 24 lots in this area, with the remainder being used as residential and commercial properties. Industrial and commercial processes conducted during the 17th and 18th centuries involved various hazardous substances, including chromium, arsenic, and mercury. Beginning in 1915, Standard Woven Fabric Co. manufactured asbestos brake linings that involved the crushing of raw asbestos. In 1920, the company changed its name to Multibestos. In 1937, the plant was closed and the properties were sold to Kendall Co., which used the site for various cotton and fabric production processes. The wastewater resulting from these operations was brought within sewer permit requirements and disposed of in two lagoons. It was then discharged to a sanitary sewer after cotton fibers had settled out. Kendall stopped using the first lagoon as a disposal area in 1982; the second lagoon received non-contact cooling waste until 1985. The current owners of these properties are Shaffer Realty Nominee Trust and BIM Investment Trust. Municipal wells located within 4 miles of the site draw water from the School Meadow Brook/Mine Brook aquifer and supply drinking water to approximately 19,500 people of the Town of Walpole. The nearest well is located within 1 mile of the site. The site lies within the boundaries of the Neponset River drainage basin which bounds the southern portion of the site.

Threats and Contaminants
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On-site soils, sediments, and groundwater are contaminated with inorganic chemicals, including asbestos, lead, arsenic, and nickel, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs). Ingesting or coming into direct contact with contaminated soils, sediments, or groundwater poses a health risk.

Cleanup Approach
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The site is being addressed in two stages: immediate actions and a long-term remedial phase focusing on cleanup of the entire site. The Record of Decision was signed on September 30, 2008. EPA's cleanup plan includes the following steps:

Groundwater that is currently contaminating surface waters on-site will be collected, treated and discharged on-site;
Groundwater use on-site will be restricted; groundwater will be monitored to ensure contamination is not moving off-site over the long-term;
Contaminated soil from an area of the site east of South Street will be excavated and disposed of off-site;
Contaminated material from the Settling Basin No. 2 Containment Cell (behind the abandoned mill building west of South Street) will be evaluated to determine if it contains hazardous waste; if so, it will be disposed of off-site. Otherwise it will remain safely covered on-site. The remainder of the existing Area of Containment (located west of South Street) including the Neponset River culvert and the soil and asphalt cover, will be remain in place. Long-term maintenance of the culvert and cover will be required as part of the cleanup;
Land use and access restrictions throughout the site will be established;
Contaminated soil and sediment from the Neponset River, Former Mill Tailrace and Lewis Pond will be excavated or dredged; disposal of the material will occur off-site.

Response Action Status
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Initial Action In 1988, Shaffer Realty Nominee Trust and BIM Investment Trust removed buried tanks and disposed of them off site. In 1992, asbestos contaminated soils were excavated, consolidated and capped with a 30 inch soil cover. A 400-foot long aluminum plate arch was built to isolate a portion of the Neponset River running through the area where asbestos contaminated soils were consolidated and capped. The portion of the site where the asbestos soils were consolidated has been fenced to ensure that the cap remains undisturbed.

Entire Site An investigation into the nature and extent of contamination began in October 1999 and concluded in 2008 with the signing of the Record of Decision.

Enforcement HighlightsThe EPA issued an Unilateral Administrative Order to Shaffer Realty Nominee Trust and BIM Investment Trust on December 15, 1988. This 1988 Unilateral Administrative Order required the potentially responsible parties to undertake a comprehensive site assessment to determine the extent of asbestos-contaminated soil at the site.
A second Unilateral Administrative Order was issued to Shaffer Realty and W.R. Grace in 1992, which required the companies to initiate removal actions to eliminate the actual or threatened release of asbestos into the air or water. In October 1999, an Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) was reached with W.R. Grace and the Kendall Company for performance of a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) at the site. An agreement for the recovery of past costs was also reached with W.R. Grace and the Kendall Company in September 1999. On April 2, 2001, W.R. Grace filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. On September 25, 2001, Grace notified EPA that it would stop performing and funding work at the site . On May 1, 2002, EPA issued a letter to JPMorgan Chase Bank exercising the letter of credit. EPA then received Grace's share of the response costs for the RI/FS from the Letter of Credit Trust.

In July 2010, EPA and the US Department of Justice lodged a draft consent decree with 4 responsible parties for the performance of the cleanup work described in the ROD, and payment of past and future EPA oversight costs. A 30 day public period was held during which public comments were solicited on the draft agreement. The estimated cost for this cleanup is $13 million. The parties involved in the settlement include W.R. Grace & Co.-Conn., a former owner and operator of the site; Tyco Healthcare Group, also former owner and operator; as well as BIM Investment Corp. and Shaffer Realty Nominee Trust, the current owners. On December 21, 2010, the US District Court entered the Consent Decree.

Environmental Progress
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The removal of site contaminants in 1988 and 1992 has reduced the potential health risks to the nearby population while investigations are underway. Activities are being planned for final cleanup of the Blackburn and Union Privileges site.

Current Site Status
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In 1999, EPA and the potentially responsible parties entered into a Consent Agreement whereby the potentially responsible parties will conduct a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) for the site. A report summarizing the existing data and usability was produced by the responsible parties in early 2000. A work plan was developed in the summer of 2000 and sampling of soils, groundwater, surface water, and sediments at the site began in the spring of 2001 was completed in the fall of 2003. A draft Remedial Investigation (RI) Report was previously submitted to EPA . Review of the draft RI led to the collection of further data. The preliminary RI as well as a RI Addendum incorporating more recent data, is complete and is available at the Walpole Public Library.

A Human Health Risk Assessment (HHRA) and a Baseline Ecological Risk Assessment (BERA) was also prepared to determine which environmental contaminants at the Site are potential hazards that need to be addressed. A Feasibility Study was completed in June 2008, which evaluates cleanup alternatives based on the outcome of the Remedial Investigation. After consideration of public comment on a proposed cleanup plan, EPA finalized its cleanup plan in a Record of Decision (ROD) in September 2008.

In response to concerns raised during the comment period leading up to the ROD, EPA announced that it would conduct an assessment of potential risks to human health and the environment under the Superfund statute. Two areas were investigated: the abandoned mill building west of South Street, and soil in an area close to the site adjacent to the Neponset River. In the Spring of 2009, EPA signed an action memo authorizing the removal of drums and asbestos from the mill building, as well as discarded brake pads and soil from a vacant lot near the Neponset River. The removal action included the disposal of nearly 30 tons of asbestos and asbestos containing debris, as well as over 2,700 pounds of hazardous materials and waste oils. The removal work, conducted by EPA’s contractor with EPA oversight, began in June 2009 and concluded in October 2009.

In December 2010, after a 30 day public comment period, the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts entered the Consent Decree between the United States (EPA and the US Department of Justice) and 4 responsible parties for the performance of the cleanup work described in the ROD, as well as the payment of past and future EPA oversight costs. The consent decree was also approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware as part of W.R. Grace’s pending bankruptcy proceeding. Design of the remedy is underway.

The Town of Walpole has received a Redevelopment Initiative (SRI) grant from EPA, and provided EPA with a draft Redevelopment Plan. The Town's potential plan includes the potential reuse of the Site for municipal, commercial/industrial, or age restricted housing. At present the Site is still, however, owned by entities controlled by the Shaffer family.

Site Photos
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SDMS 452905
1992 Removal Action in Progress, culvert is installed

SDMS 452906
Former Lagoon #1 is capped

SDMS 452907
Asbestos contamination along banks of the Neponset River is remediated

Links to Other Site Information
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Disclaimer Instructions about PDF

Newsletters & Press Releases:
Press Releases about this project  
Fact Sheet, July 2000 (1.02MB)  
Fact Sheet, April 2008 (784 KB)  
Fact Sheet: Spring 2009 Removal Action (564 KB)   
Site Update, March 1, 2011 (298 KB)  
Site Status Report, March 29, 2011 (4.43 MB)  
Site Update, August 1, 2012 (448.69 KB)  

Federal Register Notices:
Final NPL Listing  

Administrative Records:
Administrative Record Index, Removal Site, May 10, 1990 (355 KB)  
Administrative Record Index, Record of Decision (ROD), September 30, 2008 (1.92 MB)   
Removal Action Administrative Record Index, July 1, 2009 (217 KB)  

Reports and Studies:
Preliminary Reuse Assessment, September 2006 (8.6 MB)  
Proposed Plan, June 2008 (4.94 MB)  
Draft Final Feasibility Study (FS) Report, June 2008 (opening file is 22.0 MB with links to external PDF files)   
Remedial Investigation (RI) Report, Version 03 Draft, March 2007 (opening file is 2.56 MB with links to external PDF files)  
Addendum to the Remedial Investigation (RI) Report, Version 02F Draft (opening file is 12.3 MB with links to external PDF files)   
Draft Submittal / Existing Data Review and Analysis Report, January 2000 (14.1 MB)   

Decision Documents:
View Records of Decision (RODS) on-line (EPA HQ)  
Record of Decision (ROD), September 30, 2008 (26.8 MB)   
Memorandum In Support Of The United States' Motion To Enter Consent Decree, December 3, 2010 (529 KB)  

Settlement Documents:
Consent Decree for Remedial Design/Remedial Action (RD/RA), December 21, 2010 (24.8 MB)  

Other Links:
NPL Site Narrative at Listing:  
Site Progress Profile  

Site Repositories
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Walpole Public Library, 65 Common St., Walpole, MA 02081

OSRR Records and Information Center, 1st Floor, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100 (HSC), Boston, MA 02109-3912 (617) 918-1440


Contacts
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EPA Remedial Project Manager: Richard Fisher
Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
5 Post Office Square, Suite 100
Mail Code OSRR07-1
Boston, MA 02109-3912
Phone #: 617-918-1721
E-Mail Address: fisher.richard@epa.gov

EPA Community Involvement Coordinator: Emily Zimmerman
Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
5 Post Office Square, Suite 100
Mail Code ORA01-1
Boston, MA 02109-1367
Phone #: 617-918-1037
E-Mail Address: zimmerman.emily@epa.gov

 


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