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Update on Environmental Clean-up Efforts at Danversport Explosion; Public Meeting Dec. 20

Release Date: 12/15/2006
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. - Dec. 15, 2006) - The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) continue to work closely with the Town of Danvers to reduce environmental impacts left by the Nov. 22nd explosion on Water Street in Danversport.

EPA and MassDEP will join Danvers Town Manager Wayne Marquis at a neighborhood meeting on Dec. 20th to update affected residents on recent activities at the site. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria of the Riverside School.

Also next week, MassDEP is sponsoring a neighborhood household hazardous waste collection day for residents whose homes were damaged by the explosion. From 8 a.m. until 12 noon on Tuesday, Dec. 19th, neighborhood residents may bring oils, paints, and other household hazardous wastes to a collection point located at 11 Bates Street.

“The recovery phase of the project is well underway,” said Mike Nalipinski, EPA’s On Scene Coordinator. “To date, over 285 drums have been removed from the former building and have been sampled.”

Sampling results will be used to identify the contents of each drum and to determine which off-site facility to ship the drums, containers, and their contents for disposal. Earlier this week, 7500 gallons of solvents were pumped out of the underground storage tanks and shipped off site for disposal. EPA expects to have all of the remaining chemicals removed from the footprint of the former facility by the end of next week.

To ensure that public health is being protected, EPA is continuously monitoring the air as the hazardous materials are being removed. To date, EPA’s air monitoring has shown no elevated levels of concern for public health. All of the sampling data has been reviewed by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and Mass. Dept. of Public Health (MDPH). The Agencies jointly issued the following statement after evaluating EPA’s latest air sampling data:

“ATSDR and MDPH conclude that none of the concentrations of any of the contaminants detected in the fifth round of sampling represent a health concern under the exposure conditions expected at this site.”

EPA and MassDEP have also been providing support during the town’s demolition of five homes on Bates Street and the nearby Pizza Factory building. EPA is providing air monitoring and sampling support. MassDEP has an asbestos inspector on-site full-time to observe demolition activities, and to ensure that asbestos containing materials are identified and properly managed.

More information on EPA’s clean up efforts at the Danversport Explosion (epa.gov/ne/er/sites/danvers/index.html)

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