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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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Map this site in Cleanups in My Community
 Lanesborough,  Massachusetts
 Berkshire County
 Street Address: Balance Rock Road
 Zip Code: 01237

 EPA ID #: MAD980524169
 Site ID #: 0100721
 Site Aliases:

 Site Responsibility: Federal, Potentially Responsible Parties

 Proposed Date 10/15/1984
 Final Date 06/10/1986

Site Description
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The Rose Disposal Pit site is a 1 acre waste disposal area. The site occupies a section of a 14-acre residential lot bordering Balance Rock State Park, which is forest land, and the former Balance Rock Cafe; cropland and pastures also are nearby. Beginning in 1951 and continuing through 1959, waste oils and solvents from the General Electric (GE) Plant in nearby Pittsfield were disposed of in an open trench at the site. In 1980, the State Department of Environmental Quality Engineering inspected the site and found 15,000 cubic yards of soil contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Two plumes of contaminated groundwater were discovered moving to the east and south away from the disposal area. Approximately 100 people live within 1 mile of the site and may be affected by the contaminated drinking water.

Threats and Contaminants
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The groundwater is contaminated with PCBs and VOCs including trichloroethylene (TCE), benzene, and vinyl chloride. The contaminant plumes extend from the pit eastward into the park and to the south, and are carried off by a small unnamed stream. The sediments, soil, and surface water at the site and a nearby wetland were contaminated with PCBs and VOCs. VOCs, as well as vinyl chloride were found in downgradient drinking water wells.

Cleanup Approach
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Response Action Status
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Initial Action GE erected a storm fence and covered the site with plastic in 1984. GE then pumped out a pocket of contaminated soil found beneath the surface to prevent rain or snow from further spreading the contamination. An alternate permanent water supply also was provided to the restaurant and those residences affected by the contaminated plume.

Source Control and Migration Management The selected remedy controls the source of contamination and manages the migration of contaminants. GE has performed all cleanup work. The remedy included excavation and on-site incineration of approximately 51,000 tons of contaminated soil and sediment. Soil in the disposal area was excavated below the water table. The intent of treating soils in the saturated zone was to remove PCBs from the source area. Migration of contaminants was controlled by active restoration of the shallow aquifer by air filtering the VOCs to a gas, and then using carbon adsorption to remove the airborne contaminants. Groundwater is being treated to reduce contaminants to levels that will meet drinking water standards. Sediments and surface water in the small pond located near the disposal area also were treated, and the pond was restored to its original wetlands character after cleanup. Incineration involved the use of an innovative form of on-site incineration that included an initial thermal extraction phase instead of chemical extraction to separate contaminants from the soil. Treatment of the VOCs rendered the PCBs relatively immobile in the saturated zone of the disposal area. Construction activities began in early 1993 and were completed in 1994. Groundwater will continue to be treated until drinking water standards are met.

Enforcement HighlightsIn 1984, the EPA issued a joint enforcement order requiring GE to conduct removal activities at the site. In 1989, the EPA and GE signed a Consent Decree for the company to perform the cleanup and to reimburse the EPA for past and future oversight costs.

Environmental Progress
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The installation of a fence, the covering of the site, the provision of an alternate water supply, and treatment of contaminated soil, sediments and surface water have eliminated the potential of exposure to hazardous materials from these media. All construction activities have been completed at the Rose Disposal Pit site. Groundwater treatment will continue until drinking water standards are met.

Current Site Status
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Soil cleanup was completed in July,1994. The groundwater extraction and treatment system, constructed in 1993, continues to operate and will do so until cleanup levels are met. The first five year review was conducted in 1999, the second five year review was completed in 2004. The third five year review was completed in 2009 and determined that institutional controls needed to be put in place to prohibit groundwater use within the site boundaries and limit land use within the disposal area for groundwater and residual soils on site; these Institutional Controls in the form of a "Grant of Environmental Restriction and Easement" were placed on the property's deed in 2010.

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  

Federal Register Notices:
Final NPL Listing  

Administrative Records:
Administrative Record Index, OU 01 Record of Decision (ROD) September 23, 1988 (616 KB)   

Reports and Studies:
Second Five Year Review Report, September 30, 2004 (6,297KB)  
Third Five Year Review Report, September 29, 2009 (5.35 MB)  
Fourth Five-Year Review Report, September 18, 2014 (42.1 MB)  

Decision Documents:
View Records of Decision (RODS) on-line (EPA HQ)  
Institutional Controls at this Site  

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

Site Repositories
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Lanesborough Public Library, Main Street, Lanesborough, MA 01970

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: Richard Fisher
Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
5 Post Office Square, Suite 100
Mail Code: OSRR07-4
Boston, MA 02109-3912
Phone #: 617-918-1721
E-Mail Address: fisher.richard@epa.gov

EPA Community Involvement Coordinator: Jim Murphy
Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
5 Post Office Square, Suite 100
Mail Code: ORA01-3
Boston, MA 02109-3912
Phone #: 617-918-1028
E-Mail Address: murphy.jim@epa.gov

State Agency Contact: Paul Craffey
Address: MA Department of Environmental Protection (MA DEP)
One Winter Street
Boston, MA, 02118
Phone #: 617-292-5591
E-Mail Address: paul.craffey@state.ma.us


Serving Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, & 10 Tribal Nations
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Last updated on Wednesday, November 4th, 2015
URL: http://www.epa.gov/region1/superfund/sites/ftrose