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Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England

Charles River Hatch Shell

On the afternoon of September 6, 2007, workers clearing trash from the riverbank near the Boston University (BU) Bridge picked up a "brick" (8"x3"x1") of sodium. It was placed in a boat with other trash and ignited in the bottom of the boat when it came in contact with water. (Sodium is water reactive). Several workers were injured. The fire burned out when the water was consumed, and the brick was left in the boat overnight. The next morning, the District Hazardous materials (HazMat) Team, the Boston Fire Department and a cleanup crew hired by the responsible party, Boston Duck Boats, reconvened. They coated the floor of the boat with oil resin to neutralize any remaining sodium. Then, the boat was decontaminated and cleaned. EPA responded to the scene as well as the MA Department of Environmental Protection to oversee the response. No additional federal assistance was requested.

Location: Boston, MA
Start date: 09/06/2007
End date: 09/07/2007
Contact: Claudia Deane (deane.claudia@epa.gov)

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