EPA PROPOSES FINAL CLEANUP PLAN FOR CONWAY SITE

by Christian Mower on May 17, 2012

AFTER MORE THAN A DECADE OF INTENSIVE CLEANUP OF AN INDUSTRIAL WASTE SUPERFUND SITE IN CONWAY, THE U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY IS RECOMMENDING A 3-STEP APPROACH TO COMPLETING THE PROCESS: REDUCING THE LEVEL OF CONTAMINATED GROUNDWATER THROUGH NATURAL PROCESSES, MONITORING CONTAMINANTS IN THE GROUNDWATER AND PREVENTING THE USE OF THE HOBBS STREET PROPERTY FOR NON-INDUSTRIAL, NON-COMMERCIAL USES.

THE EPA HAS ISSUED A PROPOSED 12-PAGE PLAN FOR THE KEARSARGE METALLURGICAL CORP. SITE ON HOBBS STREET IN ADVANCE OF TWO PUBLIC MEETINGS IN CONWAY ABOUT THE PROPOSED PLAN, THE FIRST TO BE HELD TUESDAY EVENING (MAY 22) AT THE CONWAY TOWN OFFICE.

DARRYL LUCE – A GEOLOGIST WHO HEAD’S THE EPA’S NEW ENGLAND SUPERFUND PROJECT MANAGER, SAYS ABOUT 99 PERCENT OF THE CONTAMINATED GROUNDWATER HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM THE SITE AND THE CONTAMINATED AREA HAS BEEN REDUCED FROM MORE THAN 9 ACRES TO LESS THAN A HALF ACRE.

LUCE SAYS IN THE PAST 12 YEARS, THE STATE HAS USED A PUMP AND TREAT METHOD – THE LATEST PROPOSAL WOULD LET THE CONTAMINANTS DECAY NATURALLY. LUCE SAYS JUST BECAUSE A SMALL AMOUNT OF GROUNDWATER AT THE SITE REMAINS CONTAMINATED, IT DOESN’T MEAN PEOPLE OR THE ENVIRONMENT ARE AT RISK. LUCE SAYS THEY WOULD BE AT RISK ONLY IF THEY ARE EXPOSED TO THE CONTAMINATION.

LUCE ESTIMATES THE TOTAL CLEANUP COST TO DATE – INCLUDING THE REMOVAL AND DISPOSAL OF MORE THAN 13-THOUSAND TONS OF WASTE PILE MATERIAL AND CONSTRUCTION OF THE GROUNDWATER PUMP AND TREATMENT SYSTEM – TO BE AROUND 5-MILLION DOLLARS.
HIS AGENCY ESTIMATES THIS FINAL PHASE WILL COST JUST MORE THAN 730-THOUSAND DOLLARS.

CONWAY TOWN MANAGER EARL SIRES SAYS SELECTMEN HAVE EXPRESSED AN INTEREST IN HAVING THE PROPERTY RE-USED COMMERCIALLY ONCE IT HAS BEEN DETERMINED NO HEALTH HAZARD EXISTS AND THERE’S NO LIABILITY TO THE TOWN.

A PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD ON THE PLAN WILL RUN FROM TUESDAY UNTIL JUST AFTER THE SECOND PUBLIC HEARING IN CONWAY ON JUNE 19TH. TO COMMENT ON THE PROPOSAL OR GET MORE INFORMATION, CALL (617) 918-8372.