EPA Reviews R.I. Superfund Sites

Compiled by ecoRI News staff

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently completed its review of site cleanups at 22 Superfund sites across New England by doing routine five-year reviews of each site.

EPA conducts evaluations every five years on previously completed cleanup and remediation work performed at Superfund sites and federal facilities listed on the National Priorities List to determine whether the implemented remedies at the sites continue to be protective of human health and the environment.

Below are the sites in Rhode Island reviewed in 2013 by the EPA:

Site: Central Landfill.
Location: Johnston.
Owner/operator: Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation.
Threats and contaminants: On-site groundwater is contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as benzene, chlorobenzene, toluene, vinyl chloride, methyl ethyl ketone, bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate and 1,2-dichlorobenzene, and heavy metals including arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, lead, manganese and vanadium.
Risk: Public isn’t at immediate risk from contaminants emanating from the site. Potentially affected residents and businesses are supplied with drinking water from a public water supply system.
More info: Click here.

Site: Picillo Farm.
Location: Coventry.
Owner: Town of Coventry.
Threats and contaminants: More than 10,000 drums of hazardous waste and an undetermined bulk volume of liquid chemicals were disposed of into several unlined trenches in the 1970s.
Risk: On-site groundwater is contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including toluene and xylene and semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs). Off-site groundwater and surface water in the unnamed swamp are also contaminated with VOCs and SVOCs. On-site soil is contaminated with SVOCs and VOCs. Potential threats include use of groundwater and surface water as drinking water supplies. Contaminated surface water may pose ecological risks. There are more than 150 single-family homes within a mile of the site, and a new development continues to encroach on undeveloped land surrounding the site. All residences rely on private wells for their water; these wells are sampled about once a year by the state Department of Health.
More info: Click here.

Site: Peterson/Puritan Inc.
Locations: Cumberland and Lincoln.
Owner: NA.
Threats and contaminants: Groundwater is contaminated with chlorinated solvents, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including: 1,2 dichloroethene, trichloroethene, acetone and benzene, phthalates and heavy metals such as arsenic. The site also contains a mixture of industrial and solid waste deposits, surface debris, and soils along the river that are contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heavy metals. Site ponds are contaminated with low concentrations of PAHs and metals.
Risk: People if they come into direct contact with or accidentally ingest contaminated groundwater, sediment, leachate or soil.
More info: Click here.

Site: Western Sand & Gravel.
Location: Burrilville.
Owner: NA.
Threats and contaminants: Groundwater is contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including toluene, trichloroethylene (TCE), trichloroethane, benzene, chlorobenzene and dichloroethane. The soil also was contaminated with VOCs.
Risk: About 600 people within a mile radius of the site depended on groundwater and eight homes were historically found to have contaminated wells. All of these residences are now connected to a permanent water supply.
More info: Click here.

Site: Davis Liquid Waste.
Location: Smithfield.
Owner: NA.
Threats and contaminants: Groundwater contamination consists of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and heavy metals, including arsenic and lead from the lagoons and seepage pit areas. The soil, lagoon sediments and surface water also are contaminated with VOCs and heavy metals.
Risks: People could be exposed to contaminants by ingesting contaminated groundwater, coming into contact with contaminated soils, or by inhaling chemicals that evaporate from the soil or surface water. Portions of the bordering wetlands have been filled with tires and waste material, resulting in large areas of stressed wetland vegetation.
More info: Click here.