Environmental Protection

Cleanup to Begin at Kenyon Piece Landfill, R.I.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency is scheduled to begin a cleanup of hazardous materials present at the former Kenyon Piece Landfill located on Sand Plain Road in Charlestown, R.I., according to an Aug. 5 press release.

The cleanup, expected to begin this August and take approximately six months to finish, will be a coordinated effort among EPA, the city of Charlestown, and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.

Initial site investigations found seven pits with buried drums and containers in various stages of decay. Initial soil and groundwater sampling found that the highest concentrations of contaminants were found in and around the buried drums. Metals (lead) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including toluene, ethybenzene, tetrachloroethene, and naphthalene, have been found in the soil and groundwater onsite. The cleanup is being driven primarily by the concern that contaminants could migrate and potentially contaminate private drinking water supplies in the site's vicinity.

Cleanup activities will include the excavation, sampling, and safe packing of buried drums and containers prior to their transportation offsite to a certified hazardous waste disposal facility. As the containers are exhumed, they will be carefully logged and inspected for any labeling information that may indicate their origins. Air monitoring will be performed around the site perimeter during invasive cleanup activities due to the presence of VOCs, with engineering controls in place if an air quality issue arises.

Clean fill will be brought in to backfill disturbed areas at the completion of the cleanup. The total estimated cost of this cleanup is not yet known as the exact number of buried drums present at the site is unknown and further site analysis is necessary to determine the extent of surrounding soil and groundwater contamination from the leaking drums.

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