Environmental Protection Agency
Skip common site navigation and headers
United States Environmental Protection Agency
Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England
  Serving Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont & 9 Tribal Nations
Begin Hierarchical Links EPA Home > EPA New England > Cleanup > Find NE Sites > PINE STREET CANAL End Hierarchical Links


 

   
Table of Contents:
 Advanced Search
 Site Type: Long Term/National Priorities List (NPL) Click to see more about Site Type and how it is used?

  PINE STREET CANAL


Map this site in Cleanups in My Community
 Burlington,  Vermont
 Chittenden County
 Street Address: Pine Street
 Zip Code: 05401
 Congressional
 District(s):

01
 EPA ID #: VTD980523062
 Site ID #: 0101479
 Site Aliases:

 Site Responsibility: Federal, Potentially Responsible Parties

 NPL LISTING HISTORY
 Proposed Date 10/23/1981
 Final Date 09/08/1983

Site Description
[Back to Top]

The 38-acre Pine Street Canal site consists of a canal and turning basin, adjacent wetlands, an area formerly known as Maltex Pond, and an additional portion of land. Around 1908, a coal gasification plant began operating on Pine Street, southeast of the canal. The plant ceased operations in 1966. Plant wastewaters and residual oil and wood chips saturated with organic compounds were directly discharged or disposed of in the Pine Street Canal wetland. During the 1960s and 1970s, an oil-like material was detected seeping from the wetland into Pine Street Canal, the turning basin, and Maltex Pond. The State detected high levels of organic compounds associated with coal tar at several locations while investigating the site for a then proposed major highway. The State was concerned that construction would release organic compounds into the canal and possibly into Lake Champlain, the source of Burlington's drinking water. The area is surrounded by large and small businesses. There are several single and multiple-family dwellings, including apartment buildings, located within 1 mile of the site. Burlington has a population of approximately 39,100.

Threats and Contaminants
[Back to Top]

Contaminants in the groundwater include polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including benzene, toluene, and xylenes. Canal sediment are contaminated with PAHs, VOCs, and metals. The soil contains PAHs, VOCs, and heavy metals including lead. Cyanide has also been detected in the soil. There is unrestricted public access to the site, although access is difficult because of the marshy terrain. Portions of the site are seasonally flooded, permitting the potential spread of contamination. Wildlife at the site has been adversely affected by contaminants, especially by the canal sediments.

Cleanup Approach
[Back to Top]

The site is being addressed in two stages: emergency actions and a long-term remedial phase focusing on cleanup of the entire site.

Response Action Status
[Back to Top]

Emergency Actions In 1985, the EPA excavated 500 cubic yards of coal tar, solidified it, and disposed of it in an approved facility. The Maltex Pond area also was capped with clay and covered with topsoil and seeded. A temporary fence was erected, warning signs were posted, and sampling was conducted.

Entire Site By early 1991 the EPA had conducted field investigations, including a soil gas survey, a geophysical survey, air sampling, ecological studies, surface water and sediment sampling, soil sampling, installation of monitoring wells, and groundwater sampling to determine the nature and extent of the site contamination. Treatability studies to aid in remedy selection were completed in 1992. An investigation to determine cleanup alternatives was completed in late 1992 and the EPA proposed a cleanup plan. The cleanup plan was withdrawn in 1993 in response to the comments received during the public comment period. Additional studies focusing on ecological risk and contaminant migration were then completed by the potentially responsible parties. The EPA completed a supplemental ecological risk assessment based on new data. EPA evaluated alternative cleanup measures in late 1997 thru 1998. A cleanup proposal was released for public comment in June 1998. A Record of Decision (ROD) was signed on September 29, 1998. The ROD contains the remedy supported by the public. Elements of the remedy include, capping contaminated sediments in portions of the canal, turning basin and adjacent wetlands, institutional controls to prohibit potable use of groundwater below the site, institutional controls for certain land-use development such as residential and children's day care center, site boundary definition to allow for redevelopment of certain adjacent parcels, long term performance monitoring, and five year reviews.

Historic Resources It has been determined that sunken barges in the canal and other features at the site are eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. EPA, the Vermont State Historic Preservation Officer, and the Peforming Defendants agreed to a mitigation plan for the damages to these historic resources that will be incurred as a result of implementing this remedy. Under the plan, the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum (LCMM) studied another sunken barge of similar type, this one in Lake Champlain proper near Charlotte, VT. Field work on the barge, called the Sloop Island Canal Boat, was conducted during the summers of 2002 and 2003. The artifact collection removed from the canal boat includes such items as vessel rigging, cooking utensils, crocks, tools, bottles, canning jars, clothing and jugs. All of the recovered artifacts were analyzed, photographed, drawn and conserved at LCMM's Conservation Laboratory. Many items from the collection can be viewed in the Sloop Island Canal Boat exhibit at the LCMM in Vergennes, VT. See below for a link to Sloop Island Canal Boat Study: The Archaeology of a Champlain Canal Boat and the Pine Street Barge Canal, an educational booklet produced by LCMM. Additional information about this project can be found by visiting www.lcmm.org

First Five Year Review The first five year review of the remedial action was completed in October 2006. The remedy is currently protective of human health and the environment except for ongoing release of coal tar in a limited area of the subaqueous cap in the canal. Absorbent booms placed across the canal have prevented contamination from entering Lake Champlain while a more permanent solution could be designed and constructed. The remedy will not be protective in the future without a mechanism in place to monitor to determine compliance with institutional controls that have been established to restrict land and groundwater use at the site. Two issues that must be evaluated in order to determine protectiveness in the future are: 1) the vapor intrusion to indoor air pathway and the potential to impact current or future indoor receptors and 2) the ability of the existing compliance monitoring program to adequately monitor performance standards for contaminant migration given new site conditions.

Amended Cap In April 2009, after a 30-day public comment period, EPA issued an Explanation of Significant Differences which modifies the remedy selected in 1998. Although the remedy is working effectively to isolate contaminants in the canal sediments over most of the site, oil and coat tar were breaking through the underwater sand cap at the southern end of the canal. In areas where seepage was occurring, the sand cap was replaced with a cap that contains a material that will capture the oil and coal tar before it is released into the canal. Over time, the new cap will fill up and have to be replaced. To extend the life of the new cap, several passive recovery wells were installed along the banks of the canal. Oil and coal tar that accumulate in the recovery wells will periodically be removed and shipped off site for treatment or disposal at an approved facility. Construction of the amended cap was completed in December 2010.

Vertical Barrier In September 2011, after a 30-day public comment period, EPA issued a second Explanation of Significant Differences. A component of the containment remedy selected in 1998 was a groundwater monitoring program, the purpose of which was to ensure that dissolved contaminants in the groundwater do not migrate beyond the site boundary. For nearly ten years, the groundwater plume was stable. However, since 2008, increases in benzene concentrations in groundwater samples along with the intermittent presence of measurable accumulations of coal tar in several monitoring wells on the lake side of the canal at the northern end of the site indicate that additional containment is needed. To protect Lake Champlain from potentially being impacted by the migration of contaminated groundwater and coal tar left on site, a 200-300 foot long vertical barrier and passive recovery wells will be installed during the 2012 field season.

Enforcement HighlightsIn 1993, a Coordinating Council was formed to address the complex issues regarding the cleanup of this site. The group, under the direction of a neutral facilitator, includes EPA, the State, the potentially responsible parties, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the city, and environmental and community groups. Working as an EPA pilot project for more effective community involvement the group planned additional studies to fill data gaps and recommended a final cleanup remedy to the EPA. The remedy selected by the EPA in the ROD is the plan recommended by the coordinating council.

Environmental Progress
[Back to Top]

In 1985, EPA undertook an emergency removal of coal tar, capping of the Maltex Pond area, and construction of gates at key access points to reduce exposure to hazardous substances. A ROD for the site cleanup was signed in September 1998. In November 1999, a Consent Decree between EPA, Department of Justice (DOJ), and twenty-one potentially responsible parties was lodged in Federal Court. The remedy which included capping eight acres of contaminated sediments, habitat restoration, long-term operation and maintenance, and compliance monitoring, was completed in 2004. Deed restrictions to ensure that the site is not used in a way so as to expose the waste left in place and/or adversely affect the remedy, were recorded in July 2006. The first five-year review was completed in October 2006. The parties responsible for the remedy constructed an amended cap in 2010 to address releases of oil and coal tar seeping through the existing sand cap at the southern end of the canal. EPA and the VT Department of Environmental Conservation will continue to oversee the project.

Current Site Status
[Back to Top]

The 1998 Record of Decision (ROD) called for the placement of a subaqueous cap in the canal to address risk to ecological receptors; long term monitoring; and the imposition of land use restrictions on the site to prevent migration or unacceptable human exposure to contaminants. The remedy was implemented in two phases. The first involved the installation of a weir where the canal empties into Lake Champlain. The weir will maintain desired water levels in the canal to prevent future erosion of the subaqueous cap. Construction of the weir was completed in November 2001. The second phase involved capping contaminated soils at the southern end of the site, placing the subaqueous cap over contaminated sediments in the canal and turning basin, making improvements to the stormwater control system, and wetlands restoration. Work began in July 2002, and was completed in March 2003. In June 2003, a breakout of coal tar and oil was discovered in an uncapped area immediately adjancent to, but not in, the canal. During the summer of 2004, the sand cap was extended over a portion of the canal's west bank where coal tar and oil was being released to the ground surface via macropores (e.g., historic cribbing, root system of dead trees). The expanded cap appeared to address the release of contamination until oily sheens and globules of coal tar were observed floating on the surface water at the southern end of the canal during routine compliance monitoring in the spring of 2005. Subsequent studies conducted by the parties responsible for the implementation of the cleanup, under the supervision of EPA and VT DEC, concluded that the coal tar and oil is migrating upwards through the sand cap, primarily when gas bubbles are released from the peat below the cap. Absorbent booms placed across the canal have prevented contamination from entering Lake Champlain while a more permanent solution could be designed and constructed.

In April 2009, after a 30-day public comment period, EPA issued an Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD), modifying the remedy to include an amended cap at the southern end of the canal that will capture the oil and coal tar before it is released to the canal. Construction was completed in December 2010. Over time the new cap will fill up and have to be replaced. To extend the life of the new cap, several passive recovery wells were installed along the banks of the canal, which will also prevent contamination from migrating into the canal. Oil and coal tar that accumulates in the recovery wells will periodically be removed and shipped off site for treatment or disposal at an approved facility.

In September 2011, after a 30-day public comment period, EPA issued a second ESD modifying the remedy. For nearly ten years, the groundwater plume beneath the site was stable. However, since 2008, increases in benzene concentrations in groundwater samples along with the intermittent presence of measurable accumulations of coal tar in several monitoring wells indicate that additional containment is needed. To protect Lake Champlain from potentially being impacted by the migration of contaminated groundwater and coal tar left on site, a 200-300 foot long vertical barrier and passive recovery wells will be installed during the 2012 field season.

Site Photos
[Back to Top]


Links to Other Site Information
[Back to Top]
Disclaimer Instructions about PDF

Newsletters & Press Releases:
Press Releases about this project  

Federal Register Notices:
Final NPL Listing  

Administrative Records:
Administrative Record (AR) Index, OU 1 Record of Decision (ROD), September 29, 1998 (906 KB)   
Administrative Record (AR) Index, Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD), April 2009 (919 KB)  
Administrative Record (AR) Index, Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD), September 2011 (381 KB)  

Reports and Studies:
Historic Resources Study, May 23, 2001 (2MB)  
Photodocumentation of Historic Canal Cribwork Identified During Construction of the Pine Street Canal Weir, November 19, 2001 (1.3MB)  
Draft Phase 1 Remedial Action Construction Completion Report, OU1, January 29, 2002 (20 MB)  
Five-Year Review Report, October 3, 2006 (7.28MB)  
Five-Year Review Complete; Follow-Up Action Planned, January 2007 (4.52 MB)  
Chronology of Remedial Action, July 2006 (406 KB)  
Remedial Action Construction Completion Report, Volume 1, December 30, 2006 (opening file is 39.05 MB with links to six additional PDF files)  
Remedial Action Construction Completion Report, Volume 2, December 30, 2006 (14.83 MB)  
Final NAPL Investigation Report, February 1, 2008 (opening file is 15.57 MB with link to additional PDF file)  
Final NAPL Controls Report, June 30, 2008 (3.21 MB)   
Sloop Island Canal Boat Study: The Archaeology of a Champlain Boat and the Pine Street Barge Canal, March 2010 (4.03 MB)  
Subsurface Investigation and Evaluation, Northwestern Well Area, December 13, 2010 (20.6 MB)  
Shallow Overburden Groundwater Quality Data Memo, July 1, 2010 (244 KB)  
Second Five-Year Review Report, December 22, 2011 (5.7 MB)  

Decision Documents:
View Records of Decision (RODS) on-line (EPA HQ)  
Record of Decision (ROD), September 29,1998 (22.6 MB)  
Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD), April 7, 2009 (1.36 MB)  
Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD), September 19, 2011 ( 9.45 MB)  
Institutional Controls at this Site  

Other Links:
NPL Site Narrative at Listing:  
Site Progress Profile  
Lake Champlain Maritime Museum's Sloop Island Canal Boat Study Information  
Deed Restrictions – 44 Lakeside Avenue and 501 Pine Street, Rear Lot, July 14, 2004 (645 KB)  
Deed Restrictions – 128 Lakeside Avenue, June 17, 2004 (614 KB)  
Deed Restrictions – Zero Maple Street, June 04, 2004 (586 KB)  
Deed Restrictions – Zero Pine Street, June 16, 2004 (551 KB)  
Deed Restrictions – 339 Pine Street, June 16, 2004 (564 KB)  
Deed Restrictions – 345 Pine Street, July 15, 2004 (567 KB)  
Deed Restrictions – 377 Pine Street, June 24, 2004 (608 KB)  
Deed Restrictions – 405 Pine Street, June 11, 2004 (648 KB)  
Deed Restrictions – 431 Pine Street, June 09, 2004 (529 KB)  
Deed Restrictions – 431 Pine Street, Rear Lot, June 09, 2004 (757 KB)  
Deed Restrictions – 453 Pine Street, June 09, 2004 (557 KB)  
Deed Restrictions – 453 Pine Street, Rear Lot, June 09, 2004 (579 KB)  
Deed Restrictions – 501 Pine Street, June 09, 2004 (792 KB)  
Deed Restrictions - 501 Pine Street, Gatehouse, July 08, 2004 (656 KB)  
Deed Restrictions - 585 Pine Street, June 16, 2004 (514 KB)  
Deed Restrictions - 645 Pine Street, June 16, 2004 (588 KB)  

Site Repositories
[Back to Top]

Fletcher Free Public Library, 235 College Street, Burlington, VT 05401
University of Vermont, Bailey-Howe Library, Burlington, VT 05401

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


Contacts
[Back to Top

EPA Remedial Project Manager: Karen Lumino
Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
5 Post Office Sq., Suite 100
Mail Code OSRR07-4
Boston, MA 02109 - 3912
Phone #: 617-918-1348
E-Mail Address: lumino.karen@epa.gov

EPA Community Involvement Coordinator: Pamela Harting-Barrat
Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
5 Post Office Sq., Suite 100
Mail Code ORA20-1
Boston, MA 02109-3912
Phone #: 617-918-1318
E-Mail Address: harting-barrat.pamela@epa.gov

State Agency Contact: Michael B. Smith
Address: VT Department of Environmental Conservation
One National Life Drive
Davis One
Montpelier, VT 05602-3704
Phone #: 802-249-5826
E-Mail Address: michael.b.smith@state.vt.us

 


Serving Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, & 9 Tribal Nations
 
Begin Site Footer

EPA Home | Privacy and Security Notice | Contact Us

Last updated on Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013
URL: http://www.epa.gov/region1/superfund/sites/pinestreet