Jump to main content or area navigation.

Contact Us

Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England

Downtown Boston Jewelry Building Oil Release

On September 16, 2011, EPA received a report regarding a potential oil release from a tank located in the basement of a building in downtown Boston. The incident was reported by a mechanical contractor doing work in the boiler room of the building. He stated that the tank had leaked oil into the walls and foundation of the building. He added that the building owner had constructed a fake wall to conceal the released material. After coordinating with Mass. Department of Environmental Protection, an on-scene coordinator responded to the incident. Upon arrival, he met with the building superintendent and responders from the Boston Fire Department.

The building's heating system is currently operated with natural gas. It was retrofitted from oil to natural gas over 10 years ago. The original oil tank (oil supply to the furnaces) was emptied and decommissioned at that time. The oil tank is located in an underground vault in an access alleyway adjacent to the building. The fire department and EPA conducted a visual investigation of the building basement and the catch basin along the side of the building and found no odor or physical presence of oil.

On September 20, EPA received a second call from the mechanical contractor that originally reported the incident. He requested an update on the findings of the EPA response because he was concerned that oil still was present in the basement and that it was covered by new paint on the walls and floors. Consequently, EPA's on-scene coordinator returned to the scene and met with the building superintendent. He conducted an inspection, paying particular attention to areas that the mechanical contractor stated were saturated with oil. After the investigation was completed, no odor, or physical presence of oil, was detected. The case was referred to the MassDEP.

Location: 333 Washington Street, Boston, MA
EPA Mobilization Date*: 09/16/2011
EPA Demobilization Date*: 09/20/2011
Contact: Claudia Deane (deane.claudia@epa.gov)

*The information contained on this website is merely informational; any dates found on the website cannot be relied upon to create any rights, substantive or procedural, enforceable by any party in litigation with the United States. EPA reserves the right to change such dates at any time without public notice.

Area Navigation

Jump to main content.