In the summer of 2018, the Massachusetts Department of
Environmental Protection (MassDEP) and the Town of Dartmouth Board of Health
discovered waste material, including buried drums containing unknown materials,
at a residential property located at 85 McCabe Street in Dartmouth, MA. MassDEP
issued a field Notice of Responsibility (NOR) to the property developer. The
developer hired a Licensed Site Professional (LSP) and started conducting
response actions. During this process, MassDEP learned of potential dumping
activities in the Bliss Corner Neighborhood dating back to the 1930s.
During follow up inspections and sampling activities in 2018, MassDEP and the
Town of Dartmouth discovered waste material containing lead and polychlorinated
biphenyls (PCBs) at three other properties located on Kraseman and McCabe
Streets. In May and June of 2019, MassDEP discovered waste material containing
lead and PCBs in subsurface soil samples collected from Town of Dartmouth rights-of-way.
In July 2019, MassDEP began collecting soil samples from residential properties
within the neighborhood. To date, MassDEP has sampled approximately 85 properties.
What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?
In 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provided
analytical and sampling support to Mass DEP during their continued residential
sampling activities planned for the Bliss Corner Neighborhood. From July 2020
through June 2021, MassDEP and EPA sampled 46 residential properties in the
neighborhood. The main contaminants of concern identified from this sampling were
lead and polychlorinated biphenyls, better known as PCBs.
requested EPA support to remove contaminated soil at some of the properties
with the greatest health risk. The initial Action Memorandum approved in 2021 covered five residential properties in
the Bliss Corner neighborhood. These five properties had elevated levels
of lead and/or PCBs that exceeded the MassDEP Imminent Hazard level in
surficial soil and pose a risk to human health and the environment. The clean
up and restoration of these properties began in 2022 and was completed in the
spring of 2023.
Action Memorandum was amended three times to include additional residential
properties and a school all located in the Bliss Corner neighborhood. The first
amendment covered EPA’s staging area. The second amendment covered a residential
property due to high levels of PCBs which was cleaned and restored in the
summer of 2023 and the third amendment added 5 residential properties and a
the Current Site Status?
Since the initial Action Memorandum, EPA has completed the cleanup and
restoration of nine residential properties. Currently, one residential property
is in the cleanup and restoration process, wo residential properties are
scheduled for winter and spring of 2024 and 1 commercial property is scheduled
for summer 2024. MassDEP continues to conduct sampling activities in the
neighborhood at the owner’s request.
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