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United States Environmental Protection Agency
Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England
  Serving Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont & 9 Tribal Nations
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Site Type: Short Term/Removal (SHORT) Click to see more about Site Type and how it is used?


WELLESLEY,  Massachusetts
Street Address: OFF OF STATE HIGHWAY 135
Zip Code: 02181

EPA ID #: MAN000103085
Site ID #: 0103085
Site Alias:

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The site is located off of State Highway 135 in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and is comprised of land owned by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), the Town of Wellesley, and a residential property. Immediately to the east of the site, on town property, are a public park and swimming beach. The predominate feature of the site is the outlet of Morses Pond which flows through an approximately 200 foot-long culvert which passes under the MBTA railroad and State Highway 135 before discharging into Paintshop Pond downstream. The southern half of the site is comprised of a steeply sloped, 35-foot high, earthen embankment associated with the MBTA railroad and the residence. The northern half of the site includes areas adjacent to the pond and a 0.2 acre cove of the pond adjacent to the culvert. High levels of total chromium (up to 129,000 parts per million (ppm)) and hexavalent chromium (up to 31,000 ppm) were found on the railroad embankment and on the level areas next to the pond. Total chromium was found up to 10,800 ppm in the bottom of the cove and in the culvert itself. The source of the contamination apparently was the former Henry Woods Paint Company which operated near Paintshop Pond to the south of the site until approximately 1900, when it burned down. It is believed that chromium-laden pigment wastes may have been taken from the former paint factory and imported as fill material when improvements were made to the railroad embankment around the culvert. Based on the threats posed by the site to the local population and the environment, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) initiated a time-critical removal action.

Current Status
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A short term cleanup (REMOVAL) at the site was started on 10/12/00.

Through an interagency agreement with the Corps of Engineers, EPA prepared engineering design plans and specifications for the cleanup. A sheet pile coffer dam has been installed and a bypass pumping system has been deployed to dewater the cove. Contaminated materials were removed from the culvert and the cove. Steel sheet piling was installed in the railroad embankment to ensure slope stability during excavation activities. Contaminated surface soils were excavated from the residential property.
Contaminated surface soils adjacent to the wing walls of the culvert which could not safely be excavated were treated in situ to reduce the toxicity and mobility of the contamination. This innovative treatment process involved injecting a calcium polysulfide reagent into the soil, causing a reduction/oxidation reaction to convert the hexavalent chromium into trivalent chromium.
Contaminated materials removed and excavated from the Site are being shipped off-site for disposal at approved facilities. Work crews are currently in the process of excavating contaminated surface soils from the railroad embankment, installing a low-permeability cap over areas where deeper soil contamination remains, and restoring areas where work is complete. 332 tons of contaminated materials from the interior of the culvert; and 1,904 tons of contaminated materials from the cove.

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SDMS 458371
Aerial view of site after installation of the sheet-pile cofferdam and during deployment of the bypass pumping system

Links to Other Information
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Disclaimer Instructions about PDF

Consent Decree, July 22, 2009 (681 KB)   

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

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Frank Gardner
On-Scene Coordinator
Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
5 Post Office Square, Suite 100
Mail Code: OSRR02-2
Boston, MA 02109-3912
Phone #:617-918-1278
E-Mail Address:gardner.frank@epa.gov


Serving Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, & 10 Tribal Nations
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Last updated on Wednesday, December 9th, 2009
Fact Sheet accessed from: http://www.epa.gov/region1/superfund/sites