Residents in Franklin, Massachusetts, are tired of the delays in getting a former jewelry manufacturing site cleaned up from contamination potentially going back to 1900. One resident says he’s been “looking at the mess for 10 years” and doesn’t see very much progress.
The Environmental Protection Agency has made $200,000 available for cleanup and the town has another $40,000 it will kick in, but one resident claims his investigation into costs puts the bill at closer to half a million dollars. The soil and groundwater is contaminated with lead and chlorinated volatile organic compounds (VOC) but the existing building has to be removed so crews can drill down to bedrock beneath it to do a thorough assessment of groundwater contamination. The town condemned the building in 2005 which had been used for various industrial applications up to 1989. The town acquired the building through its tax title process between 2002 and 2005.
The VOCs, if not cleaned up thoroughly, could lead to vapor intrusion in any new structures built on the property after remediation. The town claims it could have done the cleanup sooner using its money, but has been trying to save taxpayer money by first seeking funds from outside its tax base. The current goal is to put the demolition of the building out to bid for an October completion.
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