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Providence Barrel

Site Contact:
Ted Bazenas


Site Location:
17 Oak Street
Smithfield, RI

The Site encompasses approximately 2 acres of mixed open land and sparse brush cover. Located in southern Smithfield within a mixed residential and commercial / industrial area, the former Providence Barrel facility is bordered on the north, east, and west by residential properties and on the south by a building, which was formerly the Parkinson Machinery and Manufacturing Corporation (Parkinson) and is now known as United States Granulator.

The Providence Barrel facility historically operated as a barrel reclamation facility from 1972 to 1980. The chemical composition and volume of material spilled or dumped on the property is unknown. Any buildings and foundations that existed on the property have been removed. The area consists of a sparsely vegetated open area and a cluster of trees on the west-southwest side of the property. The Woonasquatucket River is located approximately 700 ft east of the former facility.

Currently, access is unrestricted to the property and the entrance to the property is frequently used as a parking area for the neighborhood.

The nearest private home is located approximately 75 feet to the west of the property. Prior to and during the proposed removal action, EPA and RIDEM will be investigating whether the contaminated soil and potentially contaminated groundwater from the Site are causing significant vapor intrusion into the indoor air of abutting residential properties.

According to the EPA Region 1 Environmental Justice Mapping Tool, the Site is not in an environmental justice area.

On March 10, 2008, an Action Memorandum was signed by the OSRR Division director which directed EPA funds toward additional investigatio and cleanup at the site and surrounding properties, if necessary. The full text of the Action memo is included in the Documents section of this website.

Removal actions will include:
1. Conduct a site walk with the Emergency Rapid Response Services (ERRS) contractor
2. Mobilize equipment, personnel, and supplies
3. Provide site security
4. Conduct additional sampling to further characterize the extent of contamination
5. Excavate and dispose of contaminated soils at EPA approved disposal facilities
6. Construct an engineered cap over contaminated soils that cannot otherwise be excavated
7. Backfill excavated areas with clean fill material
8. Conduct additional investigation of potential indoor air/vapor intrusion problems due to contamination from the Site
9. If necessary, install systems to control site related vapor intrusion into residential buildings
10. Repair response-related damage

Personnel and equipment were mobilized to the site in April 21, 2008. EPA contractors conducted additional soil sample collection to define the extent of contamination from April 21 to April 25, 2008.

A grid was established on the properties to guide the excavation. Soil will be removed from each grid until lead levels are below 120ppm of lead in soil. The RIDEM cleanup goal is 150ppm of lead in soil; EPA's target is 20% lower to allow for heterogeneity in the soil matrix and to reduce sample collection bias effects.

Additional indoor air sample collection by EPA was completed in mid May, 2008. Results were evaluated by the RI Dept of Health and ATSDR. Levels f VOCs were detected in several samples, but all were below health concerns. No additional remediation is indicated.

Excavation of contaminated soil from the Prov Barrel property began on May 07, 2008 and was completed on June 02, 2008. Operations then moved to the adjacent parcel at 18-20 Esmond Street where elevated levels of lead related to the sitess were found in the soil. Trees were cleared prior to excavation.

Use of x-ray diffraction (XRF) technology has enabled the excavation to proceed without waiting for laboratory data on the levels of lead remaining in the soil. The instrument reads in situ soils and gives results in approximately 30 seconds. Approximately 10% (minimum) of the samples are sent to the EPA REgional Laboratory to verify the XRF results. Following clearance by XRF, samples from each excavation grid are also sent to regional lab for confirmation that the levels are below the goals.

Backfill has been placed over the exacavated areas.

Abutting properties have also been screened for lead in surface soils. Results indicate that lead contamination in surface soils is widespread on adjacent private properties. An Action Memo Addendum was prepared to document the change ins the scope of work and secure additional funds for the expanded cleanup.

As of June 25, 2008, the excavation continues on the property adjacent to the Prov Barrel Site.

On July 31, 2008, excavation began on other adjacent private properties that are also contaminated with lead in surface soils. All excavated soil is stockpileon the primary site prior to transportation and disposal. As the properties are cleared of contamination, backfill and loam are placed, followed by grass seed. Landscape restoration will follow.

On October 08, 2008, excavation on private properties was completed. A total of 17 properties were involved. Restoration is expected to be complete by october 31, 2008.

Lnadscaping restoration was completed on 11/05/08 when hydroseed was applied to the last property. All personnel were demobilized on 11/07/08.

Fence contractors were on site on 11/17 and 11/18/08 to complete replacement of chainlink fence that was removed during the excavation activities.

As of 11/18/08, all site personnel and equipment has been demobilized and all restoration for this season is complete.

EPA and contractors will re-visit the site in the spring to complete vegetation planting and repair any damage that occurrs over the winter.

UPDATE June 30, 2009

Ealier this monthe, EPA contractors and landscape professionals revisited the site and the adjacent residential properties. Repairs were made to areas damaged by erosion over the winter. Lawns were reseeded and fertilized as necessary. Ornamental plants and shrubs were planted to complete the restoration of private properties. Residents were informed that they were now responsible for maintenance and upkeep on their properties. All activites are now complete.

Case closed.

For additional information, visit the Pollution Report (POLREPS) section.