EPA to conduct ‘5-year review’ on local Superfund Sites

THE U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY is set to conduct a "five-year review" for 16 Superfund Sites around New England, including two in Rhode Island and one in Bristol County, Mass.
Posted 5/10/13

BOSTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is conducting a “five-year review” for 16 New England Superfund Sites, including two in Rhode Island – the Central Landfill in Johnston and Picillo Farm in Coventry.

The EPA conducts evaluations every five years on previously completed clean up and remediation work in order to determine whether the remedies implemented at the sides continue to be “protective of human health and the environment,” according to release.

The Central Landfill is owned and operated by the R.I. Resource Recovery Corp. and receives roughly 85 percent of the state’s solid waste. The landfill is currently composed of five areas, of these areas; a 121-acre area (Phase 1) was used prior to 1980 for the disposal of municipal and hazardous waste.

On-site groundwater is contaminated with “volatile organic compounds,” according to the EPA, and adjacent surface waters, sediments and wetlands have also been affected by a low level of contamination. This will be the third five-year review for the landfill site.

The Picillo Farm site is a small portion of a former 100-acre pig farm located in Coventry. More than 10,000 drums of hazardous waste and an undetermined bulk volume of liquid chemicals were disposed of into several unlined trenches on an 8-acre area of the farm. The site was discovered in 1977, when a fire and explosion occurred, according to the EPA.

The EPA and the R.I. Department of Environmental management have been assessing the contaminated soil and groundwater since the explosion.

“In addition to a careful evaluation of technical work at the sites, during the five-year review process EPA also provides the public with an opportunity to evaluate preliminary findings and to provide input on potential follow up activity that may be required following the review process,” said the EPA release.

The EPA is also performing a five-year review at the Sullivan’s Ledge site in New Bedford. The 12-acre Sullivan’s Ledge disposal area, in the northwestern corner of New Bedford, operated as a quarry until roughly 1932. Between the 1940s and the 1970s, local industries used the quarry pits and adjacent areas for disposal of hazardous material and other wastes including electrical capacitors, fuel oil, volatile liquids, tires, scrap rubber, demolition materials, brush and trees.

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