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Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England

East Coast Steel

Success in State-Lead Targeted Brownfields Assessment Grant Program
Greenfield, NH
(June 25, 2003)



The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) received $817,695 (between fiscal years 2000 to 2003) from EPA New England to conduct state-lead Targeted Brownfield Assessments (TBA). NHDES spent $88,964 (out of the total funding) to assess the contamination at the East Coast Steel site in Greenfield, NH. Starting in the fall of 2000, NHDES conducted site investigation and cleanup planning services on behalf of the town of Greenfield. Cleanup of the site will be completed by the end of the summer of 2003. The town of Greenfield will redevelop the site into a community septic system and open space park for the community, and will open the redeveloped site in the spring of 2004.

Recently, the town’s village district of Greenfield, NH, has had problems with individual septic systems and private water wells. Many of the residents who live in the village district have been concerned that their water quality will degrade because their private water wells are located in close proximity to their individual septic systems. The local business owners have also complained that they could not expand their businesses without larger septic system capabilities. The town of Greenfield decided that the best solution was to utilize an abandoned site, the former East Coast Steel Site, as the site for a community septic system because it is located near the village district. The town has also decided to redevelop the remaining portion of the property into open space for community use.

The town of Greenfield has taken a proactive role in addressing contamination concerns at this site. Residents passed a bond in March 2000 for a total $2.1 million to pay for a host of projects in Greenfield, including the purchase of the property, cleanup, and redevelopment of this site. The bond authorized the total amount approved by the town, and much of the $2.1 million came from grants through various state and federal programs, including NH Department of Transportation, USDA Rural Development, and NHDES. Of the $2.1 million bond, about $300,000 of the funding has been allocated to use for the purchase of the property, demolition and removal of waste, and clean-up of the site and about $450,000 has been budgeted for the installation of the leachfields.

The 2.54-acre site has a history of industrial and commercial use and dates back to about 1920, when the former Greenfield Town Garage facility was located in the northwest portion of the property. Since then, the property has been occupied by several industries including: Greenfield Industries (a woodworking operation) from about 1959 to 1970, Jeffco (a printed circuit board manufacturer) from about 1972 to 1976, and Artec (a plastics molding operation) in 1979. Most recently, East Coast Steel company operated a steel fabricating and contracting business at this property from about 1979 to 1998. Following the closing of East Coast Steel facility in 1998, the owner defaulted on the mortgage, and the lender, Granite Bank, subsequently foreclosed on the property. The town of Greenfield purchased the property from the bank shortly thereafter.

Two additional assessments were paid by the town of Greenfield after the state Targeted Brownfields Assessments were completed. The town of Greenfield utilized approximately $10,000 from the state’s petroleum funds to further assess aboveground and underground storage tank related soil and groundwater contamination The most recent assessment of the two is currently underway and should be completed by mid-summer of 2003. Additionally, project contractors hired by the town of Greenfield have found 15 more barrels of waste paints and oils, more PCBs-containing light ballasts (flourescent lights), and more thermostats on the site than initially identified. An additional 300 cubic yards of previously inaccessible petroleum contaminated soil were encountered in the above ground storage tank area and have been removed for off-site treatment and disposal.

The town of Greenfield is funding the cleanup in order to get this site ready for redevelopment. The town anticipates receiving some state funds (about $20,000) for the clean-up project in the form of reimbursement for oil clean-up to address excavation and disposal of petroleum-contaminated soils associated with the previously existing aboveground and underground storage tanks. Between 20 and 30 drums that contained contaminants, including paint materials, residues, solvents, and oils, have been removed from the site. About 750 cubic yards of contaminated soil will be removed from the site, and in the summer of 2003, the contaminated soil will be hauled off site to the appropriate treatment and disposal facilities. All cleanup will be completed by the fall of 2003. It is anticipated that the redevelopment will be completed by the spring of 2004.

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