Lead-Contaminated Soil Remediation in Falmouth, MA

The Town of Falmouth retained Tata & Howard to remediate lead-contaminated soil associated with historical firing range activities at a former gravel pit owned by the Town.  Due to the gravel pit’s location within a current drinking water source area, the objective of the remediation was to restore the release to background and remove the potential threat to the underlying groundwater quality.  In addition, the presence of estimated habitats of rare wildlife and priority habitats of rare species at the gravel pit required the filing of a Notice of Intent (NOI) with the Conservation Commission and implementing measures to protect the rare wildlife and species.  Tata & Howard prepared a site-specific scope of work for bidding purposes and managed all the field activities.  Part of the remedial action plan was to screen the soil in an effort to remove the lead bullets and facilitate disposal of the contaminated soil at a Massachusetts lined landfill.  Analytical testing of the soil revealed that some areas contained leachable lead, which required stabilization with Portland cement prior to being transported to the landfill.  During the excavation activities, Tata & Howard utilized a field portable x-ray fluorescence (XRF) analyzer to obtain real-time concentrations of lead in soil.  Use of the XRF minimized contractor down time because decisions relative to the extent of excavation required could be made in the field.  Confirmatory laboratory analytical results correlated well with the XRF data.  Tata & Howard prepared a Permanent Solution with No Conditions Statement, which documents that a condition of No Significant Risk has been achieved at the Site and that the release conditions have been restored to background.

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Environmental Services and Dam Inspection in MA

Larkin Lumber DamIn November 2015, Tata & Howard provided peer review on work that had been completed at a former lumber mill, and all documentation that had been prepared to date was reviewed. The primary concern was an area where pressure treated lumber had been stored, as the lumber was treated with chromated copper arsenate and the residual arsenic concentrations in soil were very high. The previous recommendation was to put a deed restriction (specifically, an Activity and Use Limitation or AUL) on the area to limit the exposure. Because the planned future use for the property is to convert the existing mill building into residential condominiums, this approach was inadequate. In an effort to find a more suitable solution, T&H obtained and analyzed additional soil samples from this area and found that less than 200 cubic yards had been affected. The contaminated soil can be removed for under $30,000 and will bring residual concentrations below that allowed for residential use.

Because the mill is located on a brook, a filing with the local Conservation Commission was required.  T&H suggested that, due to the limited work being done and the fact that the affected area is separated from the brook by a retaining wall, an Abbreviated Notice of Intent (ANOI) would be sufficient. The Conservation Commission agreed, and the ANOI was approved at a Public Hearing. T&H is currently in the process of preparing a Release Abatement Measure (RAM) Plan, which must be submitted to the MassDEP prior to excavation.

During the first onsite project meeting, T&H noticed a dam located in front of the mill building which the client acknowledged was out of compliance and would likely result in financial penalties. T&H contacted the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and requested an extension for the completion of the dam inspection, assuring DCR that the inspection would be completed in a timely manner.  DCR agreed to waive the penalties, and the inspection report was completed in January 2016.

CHALLENGE: Lead contaminated soil at site in Franklin, MA

CLIENT: Private client in Franklin, Massachusetts

PROJECT: Brownfield remediation

THE CHALLENGE: The Town of Franklin, MA planned to develop a site to be used by the Parks & Recreation Department. However, several potential environmental concerns were identified at the site.

THE SOLUTION: Based on information provided by the Town, Tata & Howard performed subsurface evaluation services to assess the potential presence of oil and hazardous material in soil and groundwater at the site, including the following:

  • Evaluated the site and found contaminated fill material under the building;
  • Evaluated the significance of our findings with respect to Massachusetts General Law c.21E and the Massachusetts Contingency Plan 310 CMR 40.0000; and
  • Prepared a Subsurface Evaluation Report for the site, which included a summary of activities performed, site figures and data tables, and conclusions and recommendations.

T&H then coordinated the removal of the lead contaminated soil, which contained hundreds of battery casings. The soil was treated onsite to stabilize the leachable lead, then transported to the Turnkey Landfill in Rochester, NH for disposal.

PROGRESS: Since it has been remediated and the Brownfield is now a Greenfield, the Town has purchased the site and begun renovating for future use as an indoor recreation facility. T&H filed a Permanent Solution report with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) in October 2015.

CHALLENGE: VOC Mitigation, Framingham, MA

ssds mitigation fan and manometer
Close up of completed SSDS mitigation fan and manometer.

CLIENT: Former Commercial Dry Cleaner, Framingham, MA

PROJECT: Remediation of chlorinated solvents from former dry cleaning operations

THE CHALLENGE: At this former wholesale dry cleaner, the client spent over $250,000 installing an asphaltic barrier and new floor over the barrier in an effort to prevent volatile organic compound (VOC) vapors from affecting indoor air quality.  This system was recommended by a prior consultant who subsequently found that the barrier did not sufficiently reduce the vapors in the indoor air to make the building safe for reuse.

THE SOLUTION:  T&H recommended sub slab depressurization systems (SSDSs), which are similar to radon systems, to redirect the vapors from beneath the building to the atmosphere.  The cost of four SSDSs was $10,000 and the VOCs in the indoor air were reduced to negligible concentrations. T&H then assisted the client as an expert witness to recover costs from the prior consultant and their installation contractor.

PROGRESS: Site closed out and the property has been sold.

Environmental Remediation, Quincy, MA

WORK Inc., Environmental Remediation Services, Quincy, MA

WORKInc_demo_beforeWORK Inc. provides onsite training and employment for disabled individuals, most of whom have significant developmental or cognitive disabilities.  WORK Inc. is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities with its highest rating, and licensed by the MA Department of Developmental Services.  As a human services agency, WORK Inc. places a high premium on human health and safety.  It has a health and safety committee, with external members including an insurance risk manager, to ensure that the agency is engaging in safe practices with minimal, if any, risks to human health and the environment.

In 2008, WORK Inc. decided to relocate from 3 Arlington Street in Quincy, Massachusetts to Dorchester, Massachusetts because the buildings at the Quincy site were in extremely poor condition.  When a due diligence assessment was performed at the Quincy site, several contaminants, including chlorinated volatile organic compounds (CVOCs), arsenic, cadmium, lead, and nickel were detected in soil and groundwater.  The sources of these compounds were found to be a former foundry, machine shop, and plating facility that were located at the site well before WORK Inc. took ownership.  Because they did not cause the contamination, WORK Inc. was eligible for a Brownfields Grant from the USEPA to pay for the cleanup.  T&H assisted with the preparation of the grant application and a remedial grant of $200,000 was received by WORK Inc. – the first eligible party in the entire City of Quincy to receive such funds.

In November 2009, WORK Inc. moved to the Dorchester facility and the Quincy facility was razed in spring 2011 to allow for redevelopment and to give better access to the contaminated soil and groundwater.  The demolition project was coordinated by T&H, who provided field observation and coordination services.

Approximately 800 cubic yards of metals contaminated soil were excavated and disposed offsite.  During the excavation, T&H collected soil samples from the sidewalls and bottoms of the excavations for screening with a portable x-ray fluorescence (XRF) analyzer.  Soil samples from the periphery of the excavation were then sent for confirmatory analyses at a laboratory to verify that significant concentrations of metals do not remain in soil at the site.

To address the CVOCs, T&H coordinated the drilling of four membrane interface probes (MIPs) to gather continuous CVOC data that were used to further define the vertical and horizontal extent of contamination and soil stratification.  These data indicate that the highest response to CVOCs was an approximate ten foot zone of soil located just above the bedrock.  Based on the MIPs data, T&H observed the installation of deep groundwater monitoring wells that were constructed with short screen sections set on top of the bedrock.  T&H is currently implementing a pilot test to evaluate the effectiveness of enhanced bioremediation for the remediation of the CVOCs in groundwater.