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Clean Up Work Underway at Smithfield, R.I. Site

Release Date: 07/21/2008
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass, - July 21, 2008) - EPA has been working closely with the Rhode Island Dept. of Environmental Management (RI DEM) and local officials during the removal of potentially hazardous materials at the Providence Barrel Site in Smithfield, R.I.

Excavation of contaminated soils began in May, 2008. Last week, the transportation and disposal of the contaminated soil from the immediate Site began to take place. This week EPA expects to begin removal actions of contaminated soils on private properties.

The former Providence Barrel facility, located in a residential neighborhood on Oak Street in the village of Esmond in Smithfield, operated as a barrel reclamation facility from 1972 until 1980. The two-acre Site is currently inactive, but federal and state investigations indicate the presence of soil and potentially groundwater contamination. The exact chemical composition and volume of material spilled or dumped on the property is currently unknown. All buildings that existed on the property have been removed.

The work was prompted by a site investigation conducted by RI DEM, EPA and its Superfund Technical Assessment and Response Team (START) contractor in Oct. 2005. Soil samples collected during the preliminary inspection process revealed the presence of elevated levels of lead, arsenic, semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs), perchloroethelene (PCE) and trichloroethylene (TCE) in the soil. Based on these findings and subsequent investigations, in July, 2007, EPA recommended a removal action for this site.

In Dec. 2007, EPA collected soil gas and subsurface soil samples from 10 properties adjacent to the site to evaluate the potential for soil vapor intrusion into residential properties and to test the extent of subsurface contamination beyond the site boundaries. Both TCE and PCE were found at elevated levels in samples collected from beyond the site, indicating that there is the potential for soil gas impacting indoor air of neighboring residences. Additional soil gas and indoor air samples collected in May, 2008 identified low levels of organic vapors in some basements. The data was evaluated and levels are below health concerns.

EPA and RI DEM continue to work closely with Town of Smithfield officials and residents of the nearby residential neighborhood to provide information about the assessment and removal work at the property.

More information:
EPA "short term" removal actions (epa.gov/region1/superfund/basics/shrtterm)

Contact Information: (Media) David Deegan, U.S. EPA, (617) 918-1017
(Technical) Ted Bazenas, U.S. EPA, (617) 918-1230
(Technical) Ann Battersby, RI DEM, (401) 222-2797 x7284

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