Wednesday, July 21, 2010

PCB cleanup begins in Natick, MA's Pegan Cove

July 20, 2010 - A large ring of yellow buoys floats on the surface of Pegan Cove, marking the area where contractors have started removing sediment contaminated with PCBs, left by an accident at the Soldier Systems Center 30 years ago.

The PCBs were found in the section of Lake Cochituate just to the east of Natick Labs. They came from a transformer explosion in 1980 and got into the lake through a storm drain, said Jim Connolly, restoration program manager for Natick Labs.

The cleanup was triggered when authorities found unsafe levels of PCBs in fish caught in Lake Cochituate. Kaltofen, an environmental engineer, said the fish are his biggest concern.

"The fish from Lake Cochituate are really nasty," Kaltofen said. "I have been to toxic sites all over the country and very few have anywhere near the level of PCBs as the ones at Lake Cochituate."

While there are signs warning people not to eat the fish, and mailings have gone out to nearby homeowners, some still catch and eat fish from the lake.


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