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Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England

Magnolia Avenue

The Magnolia Avenue site is bordered by woods, homes, railroad tracks and Magnolia Avenue. An open area on top of a hill was suspected of holding buried transformers, possibly containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Wallace Pond, one of six drinking water reservoirs for the town, is about 200 feet down-gradient from the area. Most of the area surrounding the property is owned by the city of Gloucester and is protected land adjacent to Wallace Pond. PCBs were identified in at least one transformer buried at the site and it was believed at least two more were buried. The transformers had been buried for about 20 to 25 years, according to cleanup crews.

A preliminary assessment and site investigation was done between Nov. 23, 2010 and April 27, 2011. Soil samples revealed only background levels of PCBs. Six test pits revealed only metal debris such as watering cans, but the seventh pit revealed at least two buried transformers. One was filled with liquid and the other transformer was empty. A transformer removed for sampling began leaking when brought to the surface. The oil was found to contain 110 parts per million PCBs.

The leaky transformer was taken off site for disposal along with a drum of soil and PPE. Analytical results of samples from the transformers and soil below found both transformers were contaminated with PCBs and the soil contained less than 50 ppm PCBs. All remaining soil on the site met the state residential standard. Removal activities were conducted and completed on Sept. 7, 2011 when the transformers and soil were taken off site. The site was restored to its original condition.

Location: Gloucester, MA
EPA Mobilization Date*: Sept. 7, 2011
EPA Demobilization Date*: Sept. 7, 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.

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