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Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England
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 Holbrook,  Massachusetts
 Norfolk County
 Street Address: 775 SOUTH ST
 Zip Code: 02343

 EPA ID #: MAD001041987
 Site ID #: 0100392
 Site Aliases:

 Site Responsibility: Federal, State

 Proposed Date 12/30/1982
 Final Date 09/08/1983

Site Description
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The Baird & McGuire facility is located on a 20-acre site in Holbrook and operated as a chemical mixing and batching company from 1912 to 1983. Later activities included mixing, packaging, storing, and distributing various products, including pesticides, disinfectants, soaps, floor waxes, and solvents. Some of the raw materials used at the site were stored in a tank farm and piped to the laboratory or mixing buildings. Other raw materials were stored in drums on site. Waste disposal methods at the site included direct discharge into the soil, a nearby brook, wetlands, and a former gravel pit. Hazardous wastes historically were disposed of in an on-site lagoon and cesspool. Also included on site were two lagoons open to rain and large areas of buried wastes such as cans, debris, lab bottles, and hundreds of bottles of chemicals. The lagoon area has been capped with clay. The on-site buildings were in various states of disrepair and unsecured; early activities conducted by EPA included demolishing all but one of the buildings and the tank farms. The tank farm area was temporarily capped. The site is completely fenced and a groundwater recirculation system was operated to contain the groundwater plume until permanent remedies were implemented. The site is 500 feet west of the Cochato River. The Cochato River had at one time, been diverted into the Richardi Reservoir, a water system serving nearly 90,000 people in the Towns of Holbrook, Randolph, and Braintree. Currently, the Cochato River is not being used as a supply source for the Richardi Reservoir. The South Street well field, part of the municipal water supply for Holbrook, is located within 1,500 feet of the site and was shut down in 1982.

Threats and Contaminants
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The groundwater is contaminated with pesticides and organic and inorganic chemicals. Studies found significant levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), other organic compounds, arsenic, and pesticides including DDT and chlordane in the Cochato River sediments. The contamination is highest on site or within approximately 500 feet downgradient of the current site fence. Site soils were found to be contaminated with VOCs, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), other organic compounds, pesticides, dioxin, and heavy metals such as lead and arsenic. Dioxin also has been detected in area wetland soils. The last operating well in the South Street Municipal Well Field was shut down in 1982 because of unacceptably high levels of organic contamination. The groundwater plume contaminated the Cochato River sediments; however, no significant health risk was found based on human contact with contaminated sediments. Contaminated sediments were found to be acutely toxic to aquatic life.

Cleanup Approach
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The site is being addressed in five stages: immediate actions and four long-term remedial phases addressing the cleanup of the groundwater, soil, and sediments and the provision of an alternate water supply.

Response Action Status
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Initial Action The EPA completed a hydrological study in connection with this site. The initial response action taken included the removal of 1,020 cubic yards of hazardous waste, 1 ton of waste creosote, 25 gallons of waste coal tar, 155 pounds of solid hazardous waste, 47 drums of flammable liquids and solids, and 2 drums of corrosives. Additional activity included construction of a clay cap, installation of a groundwater interception/recirculation system, installation of 5,700 feet of fencing, and extensive soil, groundwater, surface water, and air sampling. The site was graded, capped, and seeded. The site is secured by a fence to limit contact with contaminants.

Groundwater The final cleanup remedy chosen to address groundwater contamination involves pumping groundwater and treating it at an on-site treatment plant. Treated groundwater is discharged to the aquifer located on site. On- and off-site groundwater is monitored. A new 300,000 gallon-per-day groundwater pump and discharge treatment plant was constructed and began operating in 1993. Approximately 40 million gallons of groundwater were treated during the plant's first year of operation. In 1999, a light non-aqueous phase liquid extraction (LNAPL) system was constructed and has been collecting approximately 5 to 7 gallons of LNAPL per day. This liquid waste is collected and shipped off-site for treatment and disposal. In June 2004, the state took over responsibility for operations and maintenance (O&M) of the treatment facilities. Operation of the treatment plant and LNAPL extraction system are expected to continue well into the future.

Soil In 1992, the EPA awarded a contract to OHM Remediation Services Corporation for construction of a mobile soil incinerator. A trial burn of the incinerator was held in January 1995. Following acceptance of the Trial Burn results, the mobile incinerator began full scale incineration of contaminated soils in June 1995. OHM completed the incineration of approximately 248,000 tons of contaminated soil and sediment on June 17, l997. Demobilization of the mobile incinerator began immediately. The site is now graded, topsoil placed, and upland areas have been re-seeded. Wetlands have also been restored and are being monitored.

Sediments The groundwater discharge is believed to be partially responsible for contamination of Cochato River sediments and adjoining wetlands. Field investigations in 1987 and 1988 determined that contaminated groundwater and surface runoff from the site continue to be the principal sources of contamination of the wetlands adjacent to the site. The investigations defined the contaminants of concern and recommended alternatives for final surface water and sediment cleanup. The investigations also determined that site contaminants were being effectively trapped in river sediments and were not migrating down-river. In late 1989, a remedy was selected that included excavating and incinerating 1,500 cubic yards of sediments on site. Design of cleanup actions was completed in 1991. Construction activities were completed in 1995. A total of 4,712 cubic yards of contaminated sediment were removed from the river. Periodic sampling of the river sediments and fish in the River and in Sylvan Lake is also conducted.

Water Supply In 1990, the EPA selected a final cleanup remedy that will reactivate the Donna Road Aquifer, thereby replacing the loss caused by contamination. This is a state lead RD/RA. Design of this remedy began in 1991 and was completed in late 1994. Revisions to the design were conducted by the state at the request of the receiving towns; however, construction of the well-head treatment system did not occur. In late 2001, the Joint Water Board of Holbrook and Randolph stated that they had concerns about the construction of the treatment plant with the major concern being the expenses associated the operation and maintenance of the plant. The Board proposed that the EPA/Mass DEP funding slated for Donna Rd. be instead used to contribute to the ongoing construction project for expansion of the Great Pond Reservoir for replacement of the lost demand from site contamination of the aquifer. In August 2003, EPA issued two Explanations of Significant Differences (ESDs) to fund the expansion project instead of implementing the Donna Road water treatment plant construction. Mass DEP has provided funding to the local water board. Thus, this Operable Unit is complete.

Enforcement HighlightsBetween 1954 and 1977, the company was fined at least 35 times by various State and Federal agencies for numerous violations. A citizen complaint of an oily substance on the Cochato River initiated a site inspection, which reported surface water, groundwater, and wetlands contamination. In 1983, the City of Holbrook revoked Baird & McGuire's permit to store chemicals and ordered it to dismantle the existing storage facilities. The EPA identified four parties potentially responsible for site contamination and issued a final Consent Decree requiring the parties to reimburse the EPA for cleanup activities on an "ability to pay" basis.

Environmental Progress
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Cleanup actions, including the construction of a fence, removal of hazardous waste, pumping and treating groundwater, cleanup of sediments, and incineration of soil have reduced the potential of exposure to contamination and continue to reduce contamination levels at the Baird & McGuire site, making the area safer while remaining cleanup activities continue.

The groundwater treatment facility, constructed in 1993, continues to operate and will operate for the foreseeable future. The soil and Cochato River sediment cleanup was completed in 1997. The groundwater treatment plant currently treats influent at approximately 138 gallons per minute and the LNAPL extraction system collects approximately 5 to 7 gallons per day for off-site treatment and disposal. The Mass DEP took over site-wide O&M in June 2004. The second Five-Year Review was completed in September 2004 and the report concluded that all remedies implemented at the site remain protective of human health and the environment. Recommendations offered in the report include continuing groundwater, wetland, sediment and fish tissue monitoring; and that Institutional Controls be implemented to prohibit groundwater use, limit soil excavation and maintain access and security of the on-going remedy and its components. The third and fourth Five Year Review was completed in September 2009 and September 2014, respectively.

Current Site Status
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EPA has completed the fourth Five-Year Review for the site. The first five-year review was completed in September 1999 and subsequent reviews were completed every five years following. The five year review is required due to the fact that hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants remain at the Site above levels that allow for unlimited use and unrestricted exposure. A copy of the fourth Five Year review and previous Five Year Review are available below.

The fourth Five Year Review concluded that the remedy is functioning as designed and continues to be protective of human health and the environment. However, for the remedy to remain protective in the long term, comprehensive institutional controls must be implemented along with an evaluation of the interim clean-up levels and the continued monitoring of the site groundwater, sediment and fish tissue.

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   
Cochato River Monitoring Update, February 2001 (1.4MB)  
Fact Sheet, October 1999 (2.0MB)  
Site Activity Update, May 2004 (618 KB)  

Federal Register Notices:
Final NPL Listing  

Administrative Records:
Administrative Record (AR) Index, OU 01 Record of Decision (ROD), September 30, 1986 (549 KB)  
Administrative Record (AR) Index, OU 03 Record of Decision (ROD), September 14, 1989 (448 KB)  
Administrative Record (AR) Index, OU 04 Record of Decision (ROD), September 27, 1990 (527 KB)  
Administrative Record Collections  

Reports and Studies:
Five Year Review Report, September 15, 1999 (2,222KB)  
Second Five Year Review Report, September 30, 2004 (9,886KB)  
Third Five Year Review Report, September 29, 2009 (6.32 MB)  
Fourth Five-Year Review Report, September 30, 2014 (11.7 MB)  

Decision Documents:
Institutional Controls for this site  
View Records of Decision (RODS) on-line (EPA HQ)  
Record of Decision, September 27, 1990 (4.65 MB)  
Explanation of Significant Difference, Operable Unit 1, Groundwater Remedy, August 21, 2003 (89 KB)  
Explanation of Significant Difference, Operable Unit 4, Alternative Water Supply, August 21, 2003 (85 KB)  
Explanation of Significant Difference, Operable Units 1 & 2, Groundwater and Source Control Remedies, April 6, 2005 (499 KB)  

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

Site Repositories
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Holbrook Public Library, 2 Plymouth Street, Holbrook, MA 02343

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: Kimberly White
Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
5 Post Office Square, Suite 100
Mail Code OSRR07-4
Boston, MA 02109-3912
Phone #: 617-918-1752
E-Mail Address: white.kimberly@epa.gov

EPA Community Involvement Coordinator: Kelsey O'Neil
Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
5 Post Office Square, Suite 100
Mail Code ORA01-1
Boston, MA 02109-3912
Phone #: 617-918-1003
E-Mail Address: oneil.kelsey@epa.gov

State Agency Contact: Dorothy Allen
Address: One Winter Street
Boston, MA 02108
Phone #: 617-292-5795
E-Mail Address: dorothy.t.allen@state.ma.us


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