Environmental Protection

Emhart Industries Finishes Initial Cleanup at Centredale Manor

The latest phase of cleanup at the Centredale Manor Restoration Project in North Providence, R.I. is complete.

Last month, Emhart Industries, Inc., a potentially responsible party, completed an approximately $1.7 million short-term cleanup, excavating contaminated soil alongside and under portions of the Brook Village parking lot. The removal of nearly 2,300 tons of contaminated soil will limit the migration of contamination through groundwater into the Woonasquatucket River.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) supervised the work done by Loureiro Engineering Associates and its subcontractors on behalf of Emhart. Key elements of the short-term cleanup included:

  • installing temporary diversions of the river water away from the river bank
  • excavating contaminated soil and shipping off-site for disposal
  • backfilling and re-grading excavated area;
  • installing an engineered impermeable cap;
  • installing and conducting sampling of groundwater monitoring wells;
  • installing erosion control along the riverbank; and
  • monitoring air for particulates and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

The Centredale Manor Restoration Project Superfund site extends down the Woonasquatucket River from the Brook Village and Centredale Manor properties, south to at least the Lyman Mill Dam. The Woonasquatucket River has widespread dioxin and other contamination resulting from the former operations of a chemical company and a drum refurbisher on its shores. First identified in fish in 1996, EPA has since documented elevated levels of contaminants including dioxin, polychlorinated biphenyls, VOCs, semi-VOCs, and metals in soil, sediment, and wetlands at the site.

EPA is developing long-term cleanup options for the entire site and will present them, with its preferred alternative, to the public for comment in winter 2010-11. The overall cleanup plan will address contaminated sediment, floodplain soil, source-area soil, and groundwater.

Walking, running, or bike riding along the river, and paddling a canoe or kayak on the river are ways to safely enjoy the river. However, people should wash thoroughly after any contact with the river water or sediment. EPA asks that people keep in mind the following Do’s & Don’ts for the Woonasquatucket River:

  • Don’t eat fish, turtles, eels, other wildlife or plants from the Woonasquatucket River;
  • Don’t wade in the shallow water or swim in the river;
  • Don’t dig into the river banks; and,
  • Do obey the warning signs posted along the river.

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