Work to excavate and remove contaminated soil at the Blackburn and Union Privileges Superfund Site in Walpole, Massachusetts has begun.
Over the next two months, workers will excavate contaminated soil and replace it with clean fill. As the soil gets excavated, it will be loaded onto trucks and transported off-site to an appropriate waste management facility.
The town of Walpole owns the property and has future plans for it. The areas of the site that were formerly paved will be left as a crushed stone surface. The wetlands will be restored with native plantings.
The Blackburn and Union Privileges Site was added to the Superfund National Priority List in 1994. Industrial and commercial processes on the site date back to the 1600s. Between 1891 and 1915, the site was used for manufacturing of tires, rubber goods, and insulating materials. The crushing of raw asbestos in the manufacturing of brake and clutch linings occurred at the site between 1915 and 1937. Various cotton and fabric production processes were conducted at the site from 1937 until 1985.
As a result of these industrial operations, soil, sediment and groundwater are contaminated with inorganic chemicals (including asbestos and metals), volatile organic compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and highly alkaline compounds.