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Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England
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 Site Type: Long Term/National Priorities List (NPL) Click to see more about Site Type and how it is used?


 Danvers,  Massachusetts
 No County Named
 Street Address: 33, 35 & 45 Water Streets, 12 & 20 Cheever Streets, 15 Pleasant Avenue, 55 Clinton Avenue
 Zip Code: 01923

 EPA ID #: MAD001031574
 Site ID #: 01HL
 Site Aliases: Creese and Cook

 Site Responsibility: Federal

 Proposed Date 09/18/2012
 Final Date 05/24/2013

Site Description
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The Site is located in a mixed commercial/residential area bounded to the west by a movie theater, shopping center and residences; to the north by MA Route I-128 and residences; and to the south and east by residential and commercial properties. The tidally influenced Crane River bisects the Site.

The Site was used for disposal and treatment of hazardous substances from manufacturing leather products from approximately 1903 until the early 1980s. Three of the four parcels were at one time owned by the Creese and Cook Tannery Company (“Creese & Cook”) who operated a tannery and finishing facility at the Site. Leather tanning and finishing operations began in 1904 at the 33 Water Street parcel on the east side of the Crane River. Most operations, except for finishing operations and offices, moved to the larger, new facility at 55 Clinton Avenue on the west side of the river in 1914. Creese & Cook used raw animal hides to produce leather shoes, handbags, gloves and garment leather, primarily from cowhide stock. The tannery continued to operate on both sides of Crane River until 1981. Hebb Leather also operated on site, but not much is known about its operations. Creese & Cook and Hebb Leather each filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy petitions in April and March 1982, respectively.

Wastes from the tanning process were disposed of in two onsite landfills located on the 55 Clinton Avenue property. Liquid effluent was discharged to the Crane River until 1975 and later to sewers, while sludge waste was deposited in an onsite lagoon system.

The 55 Clinton Ave. and 33 Water Street properties were leased to Danversport Tanning Company from approximately 1981 to 1983. All tanning operations at both properties ceased in 1983. The former Creese & Cook properties, which included 33 Water Street, 55 Clinton Avenue, 20 Cheever Street and portions of 35 Water Street, were later sold or transferred, and the 33 Water street parcel was redeveloped into a condominium complex in 1986.

Surface and subsurface soils on all four parcels, located on both sides of the river, are contaminated with tannery wastes. Sampling of surface and subsurface soils and Crane River sediments, conducted as part of the Hazard Ranking Scoring Package for Site National Priorities List (NPL) listing between 2010 and 2012, documented the presence of arsenic, total chromium, hexavalent chromium and/or dioxin. The primary Site contaminants exceeded health-based standards in multiple locations.

Asbestos containing materials are believed to be present in the debris pile located at 55 Clinton Avenue from the demolition of the former onsite building. Leather hides and related contaminants are protruding from the eroded bank areas of the Crane River. The Crane River sediments also show signs of Site related contaminants, although the nature and extent of contamination has not yet been established.

Unsafe levels of arsenic were found in surface soils at the 33 Water Street condominium complex. The level of arsenic contamination in surface soils exceeded the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) Imminent Hazard risk guidelines, and at the request of MassDEP, EPA conducted a time-critical removal action at this property between April and June 2012. The removal action addressed arsenic contaminated soils located adjacent to the condominium buildings.

In 2009, MassDEP requested that EPA evaluate the Site to determine whether or not it would be eligible for inclusion on the NPL. After further investigation, EPA proposed the Site for listing on the NPL in September 2012. No adverse comments were received, and the Site was listed in May 2013.

EPA’s contractor began the Remedial Investigation field activities, east of the Crane River, at the former Creese & Cook Superfund site in June and July 2014. Over 500 soil samples were taken from numerous locations. Ten groundwater monitoring wells were also installed during this time frame. Groundwater samples were collected and analyzed in the summer and fall of 2014. A tidal study was conducted to evaluate groundwater flows. Laboratory analysis was conducted to evaluate samples for contaminants, including: metals, volatile organic compounds, semi-volatile organic compounds, pesticides, dioxins, and PAH’s.

Soil and groundwater results were carefully reviewed during the fall of 2014 to make sure that the data was of high quality (usable). Over the next year the approved data will then be used to perform site wide risk assessments associated with both human health and the environment, for the east side of the Crane River.

Threats and Contaminants
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Hexavalent Chromium
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs)

Cleanup Approach
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Response Action Status
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Initial Action EPA removed over 450 tons of arsenic contaminated soils.

Environmental Progress
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On October 17, 2011, the EPA On-Scene Coordinator (OSC) and contractor personnel mobilized to the Site (the 33 Water Street parcel) to conduct a Removal Program Preliminary Assessment/Site Investigation (PA/SI). Personnel collected 50 surface soil samples on a grid system that was established at the property. The analytical results indicated that arsenic is present in surface soil samples in certain areas of the property at levels up to 1370 ppm which exceeded the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) Imminent Hazard threshold of 40 ppm, which was established by the MassDEP for determining a possible threat to public health based on direct exposure to surface soils. After evaluation of the sample analysis results, the EPA OSC prepared a Closure Memorandum to document the decision that a removal action was warranted to protect public health and the environment.

In February of 2012, the MassDEP installed a temporary fence to restrict public access to the contaminated surface soil between Building D and the north boundary of the property until the removal action was completed. Specific removal activities started on April 24th and included the following:

• additional sampling in order to further characterize the extent of contamination in the surface soils at the 33 Water Street parcel;
• clear vegetation and obstacles as needed;
• excavate and dispose of contaminated surface soil
• dispose of hazardous substances at EPA-approved off-site disposal facilities;
• repair of response-related damages

backfilling and site restoration activities.

On June 11, 2012, the last load of contaminated soil was hauled from the Site to ARC, Inc. A total of 20 loads (approximately 450 tons) of contaminated soil were transported to the ARC, Inc. disposal facility in Elliott, Maine for proper recycling/reuse.

Backfilling, grading (to restore the previous grade), landscaping and seeding the remaining areas of the Site were completed in the fall of 2012.

Current Site Status
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EPA began a Remedial Investigation (RI) study at the site in early June of 2014. The RI/FS will determine the full nature and the vertical and horizontal extent of contamination at the site; identify all contaminants of concern and determine if there are any unacceptable risks to human health and/or the environment.

Site Photos
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Links to Other Site Information
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Disclaimer Instructions about PDF
Maps and Photos:
Draft Site Map with Property Boundaries, December 5, 2013 (3.52 MB)  
Map of Conceptual Sampling Plan Locations, March 2014 (597 KB)  
Site Plan, April 29, 2014 (3.25 MB)  
Photo Display: Examples of Equipment You May See During the Upcoming Field Work, April 29, 2014 (4.52 MB)  

Newsletters & Press Releases:
Press Releases about this site  
Press Release, September 13, 2012, Proposed Listing on the National Priorities List  
Site Update and Announcement of Public Meeting, April 30, 2014 (1.53 MB)  
Public Meeting Presentation, April 30, 2014 (1.73 MB)  

Federal Register Notices:
Proposed NPL Listing  
Final NPL Listing  

Administrative Records:
Removal Action Administrative Record (AR) Index, October 2012 (239 KB)  

Reports and Studies:
Final Hazardous Ranking System (HRS) Package Documentation Record, September 18, 2012 (5.28 MB)  
Draft Data Evaluation Technical Memorandum for Remedial Action (RA), February 01, 2015 (37.4 MB)  

Site Repositories
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Peabody Institue Libray of Danvers

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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EPA Remedial Project Manager: Derrick Golden
Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
5 Post Office Square, Suite 100
Mail Code OSRR07-1
Boston, MA 02109-1367
Phone #: 617-918-1448
E-Mail Address: golden.derrick@epa.gov

EPA Community Involvement Coordinator: Kate Melanson
Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
5 Post Office Square, Suite 100
Mail Code OSRR01-1
Boston, MA 02109-1367
Phone #: 617-918-1491
E-Mail Address: melanson.kate@epa.gov

State Agency Contact: Garry Waldeck
Address: MassDEP
One Winter Street
Boston, MA 02108
Phone #: (617) 348-4017
E-Mail Address: garry.waldeck@state.ma.us


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Last updated on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015
URL: http://www.epa.gov/region1/superfund/sites/creese