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Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England
  Serving Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont & 9 Tribal Nations
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Map this site in Cleanups in My Community
 Smithfield,  Rhode Island
 Providence County
 Street Address: Tarkiln Road
 Zip Code: 02828

 EPA ID #: RID980523070
 Site ID #: 0101283
 Site Aliases:

 Site Responsibility: Federal, State, Potentially Responsible Parties

 Proposed Date 10/23/1981
 Final Date 09/08/1983

Site Description
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The Davis Liquid Waste site is located on approximately 10 acres in a rural section of Smithfield, Rhode Island. Throughout the 1970's, the site accepted liquid and chemical wastes such as paint and metal sludges, oily wastes, solvents, acids, caustics, pesticides, phenols, halogens, metals, fly ash, and laboratory pharmaceuticals. Liquid wastes were transported in drums and bulk tank trucks and were dumped directly into unlined lagoons and seepage pits. The operator periodically excavated the semi-solid lagoon materials, dumped these materials at several locations on the site, and covered them with soil. Other operations included the collection of salvaged vehicles and machine parts, metal recycling, and tire shredding. Dumping activities resulted in soil, surface water, sediment, and groundwater contamination, both on- and off-site. In 1978, the discovery of off-site well contamination prompted the State Superior Court to prohibit further dumping of hazardous substances on the Davis property. The area surrounding the site is residential and the closest homes are located within 1,500 feet of the site. In 1986, there were approximately 240 people living within 1 mile and 4,700 people living within 3 miles of the site. The nearest well is located 300 feet away. The property is bordered on the north and south by wetlands and swamp areas.

Threats and Contaminants
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Groundwater contamination consists of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and heavy metals, including arsenic and lead from the lagoons and seepage pit areas. The soil, lagoon sediments, and surface water also are contaminated with VOCs and heavy metals. Residential wells to the north and northeast of the site are contaminated with VOCs. People could be exposed to contaminants by ingesting contaminated groundwater, coming into contact with contaminated soils on-site, or by inhaling chemicals that evaporate from the soil or surface water. Portions of the bordering wetlands were filled with tires and waste material, resulting in large areas of stressed wetland vegetation.

Cleanup Approach
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The site is being addressed in two stages: initial removal actions (i.e., drum removal activities), and long-term remedial activities (i.e., actions focusing on the provision of a new water supply line and cleanup of the soil and groundwater at the site).

Response Action Status
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Initial Action From 1985 to 1986, the EPA sampled, packed, and staged approximately 600 intact and crushed drums and shipped them off-site to an approved disposal facility. At the same time, bottled water for drinking and cooking was supplied by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) to residences with contaminated wells. This temporary action provided a safe water supply while a permanent remedy was being evaluated.

Water Supply Line The construction of a new water distribution system serving 127 lots along Forge Road, Log Road, Burlingame Road, and Bayberry Road was completed by EPA and RIDEM in December of 1997. The new system included construction of a 300,000-gallon water storage tank, a water main, pumping stations, and connections to existing residences. For several undeveloped lots, EPA also brought a service connection up to the property line so that future connections may take place at the owner's expense.

Soil Remedy The final soil cleanup remedy selected in the 1987 Record of Decision (ROD) called for excavating approximately 25,000 cubic yards of raw waste and contaminated soils for on-site treatment using thermal desorption. Treated soil would be tested and clean soil will be used to backfill excavated areas. In November of 1996, a Consent Decree negotiated between the EPA and 54 Settling Parties was lodged with the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island. The Consent Decree among other things included a work based component requiring the Settling Parties to perform the soil cleanup at the site. In March of 1997, the Settling Parties began performing the work described in the CD, focusing their initial efforts on the removal of tires from areas of the site which were believed to be contaminated. Between March of 1997 and August of 1999, it was estimated that approximately 1.4 million tires were removed from the site. An additional 5 million tires were removed by the State of Rhode Island from other portions of the site. The last of the tires were removed in December 2000. Throughout the tire removal efforts, partially and fully buried drums were encountered. Drums which were among the tires were removed and over-packed while buried drums were left to be addressed as part of a subsequent drum removal effort. Work on the buried drums began in July 1997 and continued intermittently until December 2000. During the drum and laboratory container removal activities, over 1,400 drums and 15,000 laboratory containers were excavated, repackaged, and disposed of off-site. In addition, over 5,000 tons of a mixture of municipal solid waste and soil were taken off-site for disposal.
The second phase of the soil cleanup activities began in October 1999 with the initiation of soil treatment activities at the site. Soil treatment consisted of the excavation and thermal and mechanical treatment of contaminated soils within two large buildings at the site. Each batch of soil underwent treatment for several days until cleanup standards were met. A sampling and analytical program involving both an on-site and off-site laboratory was used to verify that the ROD-specified soil cleanup standards were met for each batch of soil. After treatment, the soil was used to backfill excavated areas. Soil treatment was completed in April of 2001. During the cleanup, over 78,000 tons of soil were treated on-site and another 20,000 tons of soil and miscellaneous wastes were shipped off-site for treatment and disposal.

After completion of the soil treatment phase, the buildings were decontaminated and dismantled. Many treated and untreated areas of the site required additional fill to reach the final grade. Once graded, the entire disturbed area was covered with a 6-inch layer of topsoil. The disturbed areas were then planted with grass and over 500 trees to help stabilize the site and restore the wildlife habitat value. The tree planting consisted mainly of native species ranging in size from small saplings to large established plants. The overall cost of the soil cleanup incurred by the Settling Parties was approximately $24 million.

Groundwater Remedy - 2010 ROD Amendment The original, 1987 ROD selected remedy for groundwater was meant to address the contamination remaining in both the shallow and deeper aquifers beneath the site through extraction and on-site treatment of contaminated groundwater. In order to determine the most appropriate way to implement this last component of the overall site cleanup, monitoring of the groundwater contamination was required over several years following the completion of the soil cleanup remedy in 2001. This monitoring data was collected to provide further information needed to finalize the design of the groundwater extraction and treatment system or potentially change the groundwater remedy. EPA, using several years of groundwater monitoring data, prepared a focused feasibility study which evaluated the original 1987 and several new groundwater cleanup approaches for the site. In September 2010, EPA issued a ROD Amendment which documented a change in the groundwater remedy for the site from extraction and treatment to in-situ treatment.

Evaluation of Groundwater Remedy An evaluation of the overburden aquifer remediation and bedrock characterization is underway by the PRP group. Additional sampling has identified significant concentrations in the bedrock groundwater. The concentrations in bedrock may be impacting overburden groundwater. An updated Conceptual Site Model (CSM) is expected to be issued during Winter/Spring 2016. The updated CSM will allow EPA and the State to determine what actions are needed to address groundwater contamination.

Surface Water and Sediments EPA and the State evaluated and commented on a 2015 draft report and anticipate that those findings will be used in the updated Conceptual Site Model to be released during Winter/Spring 2016.

Enforcement HighlightsDiscovery of off-site well contamination in 1978 resulted in the State Superior Court banning dumping on the site. EPA obtained a Court Order to gain access to the site. The Department of Justice prepared a motion for "conditional" site access to be entered in the Rhode Island Federal Court. The site owner resisted attempts by Federal officials to investigate the site for cleanup and continued to conduct business operations within 100 feet of the hazardous dumping site. The State of Rhode Island entered into an agreement with the site owner in late 1994 for the removal of an estimated 10 to 30 million tires stored at the site. The owner complied with the order during 1995 but, during 1996, was unable to meet the quarterly quota for tire removal. Since 1997, the State of Rhode Island funded the removal of additional tires from the site. Tire removal activities were completed by the State in December of 2000 at which time it was estimated that 6 million tires in total were removed from the site. Since issuance of the ROD Amendment in 2010, EPA and RIDEM have negotiated a Consent Decree with the PRPs to perform the required groundwater design and remediation work.

Environmental Progress
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Removing drums reduced the potential for exposure to hazardous substances at the Davis Liquid site. The completion of the alternative water supply and soil cleanup further protects human health by reducing the potential for exposure to hazardous substances while additional cleanup activities are being planned and conducted.

Current Site Status
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With completion of soil cleanup, EPA has been focusing its efforts over the past several years on monitoring the groundwater contamination beneath the site. Monitoring began during the Fall 2001. EPA and RIDEM reviewed the results of this monitoring and subsequently prepared a focused feasibility study which resulted in a Record of Decision (ROD) Amendment in September 2010. The ROD Amendment documents the change in the groundwater cleanup approach for the site. Since issuance of the ROD Amendment, EPA and RIDEM have negotiated a Consent Decree with the PRPs to perform the required work. That work has shown that bedrock groundwater may be affecting overburden groundwater and subsequently surface water. EPA and RIDEM have directed additional studies to characterize the nature and extent of contamination at the site and expect to have an updated Conceptual Site Model (CSM) during the Winter/Spring of 2016. Based on the results of this updated CSM, EPA and RIDEM will be evaluating the existing groundwater cleanup approach for the site.

Site Photos
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Links to Other Site Information
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Disclaimer Instructions about PDF

Newsletters & Press Releases:
Press Releases about this project  
Soil Cleanup Completed, October 2001 (1.2MB)  

Federal Register Notices:
Final NPL Listing  

Administrative Records:
Administrative Record (AR) Index, Record of Decision (ROD) OU 1, September 25, 1987, (819 KB)  
Administrative Record Index, Removal Action, September 1, 1995 (526 KB)  
Administrative Record Index, OU 01 Explanation of Significant Differences, July 19, 1996 (473 KB)  
Administrative Record Index, OU 02 Record of Decision (ROD) Amendment, October 1, 2010 (102 KB)  

Reports and Studies:
Focused Feasibility Study (FS), May 1, 2010 (11.8 MB)  
Proposed Plan, June 1, 2010 (2.05 MB)  
Remedial Design Work Plan and Pre-Design Investigation Plan, March 23, 2012 (22.0 MB)  
Project Operations Plan, March 23, 2012 (68.8 MB)  
Plume Core Evaluation Summary Report, October 24, 2013 (23.3 MB)  

Decision Documents:
View Records of Decision (RODS) on-line (EPA HQ)  
Record of Decision (ROD) Amendment for OU 2, September 30, 2010 ( 5.03 MB)  

Other Links:
NPL Site Narrative at Listing:  
Site Progress Profile  

Site Repositories
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Greenville Public Library, 573 Putnam Pike, Greenville, RI 02828

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: Darryl Luce
Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
5 Post Office Square, Suite 100
Mail Code: OSRR07-1
Boston, MA 02109-3912
Phone #: 617-918-1336
E-Mail Address: luce.darryl@epa.gov

EPA Community Involvement Coordinator: Sarah White
Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
5 Post Office Square, Suite 100
Mail Code: ORA20-1
Boston, MA 02109-3912
Phone #: 617-918-1026
E-Mail Address: white.sarah@epa.gov

State Agency Contact: Gary Jablonski
Address: 235 Promenade Street
Providence, RI 02908-5767
Phone #: 401-222-2797 x 7148
E-Mail Address: gary.jablonski@dem.ri.gov


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