Environmental Protection

Grace, Oldon to Clean Up Asbestos in Easthampton, Mass.

W. R. Grace & Co. and Oldon Limited Partnership have agreed to pay an estimated $833,000 to clean asbestos-contaminated soil at a site in Easthampton, Mass. They also agreed to pay the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s past cleanup costs of $72,537.

The 2.3-acre site is located in a mixed residential, commercial and agricultural area and includes a facility owned by Oldon. Grace leased the facility, located on Wemelco Way, from Oldon between 1963 and 1992. During that time, Grace received asbestos-contaminated vermiculite concentrate from the Zonolite mine in Libby, Mont., and produced Zonolite attic insulation and fireproofing material.

Investigations by EPA have identified asbestos contamination at the facility including asbestos-contaminated soil behind the vacant building on the eastern half of the property and residual asbestos contamination inside the building. The settlement agreement requires this contaminated soil and the interior of the building to be cleaned up. The parties are also responsible for cleaning up asbestos-contaminated soils discovered on a railroad right-of-way owned by the town that is slated to become a bike trail, as well as soil on other properties immediately adjacent to the facility.

“The parties involved in this site have stepped up to the plate in cleaning their own facility,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “This kind of action helps protect the environment and public health and we applaud them for taking responsibility.”

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