Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England
Barre Wool Site
In April of 2006, EPA deemed this site a potential threat to public health and the environment posed by seven PCB-containing transformers that were being stored improperly on-site. On May 3, 2006, EPA initiated a site investigation with the first inspection of the property that included a site walk with property owner to observe the seven transformers and their storage conditions. A second site visit took place on June 22, 2006, with the property owner and EPA's contractor, including a structural engineer, further assessing the condition of the mill buildings. Based on site conditions, interviews with toxic substances control personnel and the property owner, EPA recommended a removal action.
As background, Barre Wool is bounded by Route 32 (South Barre Road) on the east, the "Old Lagoon Area" on the north and northwest, private residences to the west and Route 32 (Main Street) to the south. The Barre Wool Combing Company (BWCC) operated on the Site from the early 1900s through the 1960s. At some point prior to 1969, Ivy Enterprises purchased BWCC and continued operations until 1979 when the site was abandoned. Wool processing included wool combing, drying and finishing. In the 1980s, the current owner acquired the property and has been conducting various storage, reloading, and screening and loaming operations since that time. The site features and operational status consist of the following:
- It is comprised of an 8.45 acre parcel of land with the Ware River bisecting the property from east to west.
- The southern portion of the parcel includes the old Barre Wool Mill building complex, an active railroad spur and a parking lot area. There is an active storage and reloading business in the western portion of the complex. The other portions of the complex (such as the "main mill" and "combing section") are vacant, with some areas being structurally sound while other areas have collapsed floors and holes in the roof. The property owner is planning to demolish the combing section of the mill after all hazardous materials have been removed.
- The northern section of the parcel includes a large, actively used warehouse and nearby three-sided storage shed. This portion of the property is used for storage and reloading of products such as mulch, sheet metal and wood products. Products are delivered and transported off site via truck and rail.
- Two of the transformers are located on the second floor in the combing section of mill. During the site investigation rain water was observed leaking through the roof into the area where the transformers are stored.
- Three of the transformers are stored on the second floor of the western portion of mill complex adjacent to a major collapsed area. EPA and EPA contractor personnel were unable to inspect these transformers during the inspection due collapsed floors blocking access.
- The final two transformers are located in the northern portion of the property. One is stored on the concrete loading dock of the warehouse building and the second is stored in the nearby three-sided shed.
In August 2007, the property owner removed the PCB-impacted wood and other debris around the former location of the transformers, cleaned the potentially PCB-impacted metal surfaces in the vicinity of the transformers, and collected additional clearance samples in that area. In addition, the property owner removed PCB-impacted wood around the former location of transformers 3, 4 and 5 and placed the debris in a 20-yard roll-off container and shipped it to a licensed disposal facility. The PCB impacted metal beams around the former location of transformers 3, 4, and 5 were resampled, with results indicating a continued presence of contamination. As a result, the property owner removed the steel beams and shipped them to a licensed disposal facility. In November, the clean-up contractor shipped the cubic yard container containing approximately 600 pounds of PCB-contaminated steel to a licensed disposal facility, and in January 2008, EPA completed work at the site.
Location: 10 Main Street, Barre, MA
Start date: 08/03/2006
End date: 01/29/2008
Contact: Claudia Deane (email@example.com)