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Bliss Corner Neighborhood Site

Site Contact:
John Mckeown
On-scene coordinator


Site Location:
85 McCabe Street
Dartmouth, MA 02748


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.

MassDEP 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.


The 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 school.


What is 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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