Investigation of contaminants underway at Pascoag church

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BURRILLVILLE – An engineering firm working on behalf of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management is currently testing the soil at Pascoag Community Baptist Church for contaminants following the discovery of chemicals left behind from a gas station that once occupied the property.

Vanasse Hagin Brustlin Inc. notified town officials of the investigation in a letter this month, noting that testing will be completed by the end of September, and a report will be issued.

“The RIDEM has determined that conducting this investigation is in the public’s best interest,” the letter, dated August 23 and signed by Senior Project Manager Peter Grivers, notes.

The property held a gas station between around 1970 and 1990, and two underground storage tanks were removed from the property in 1990, according to RIDEM officials.

Limited testing was done on the site in March of 2018 and Rachel Simpson, senior environmental scientist for RIDEM, notes that volatile organic compounds were found “above GA Leachability Criteria and GA Groundwater Objectives..

More soil samples were taken on Tuesday, Sept. 10 and Wednesday, Sept. 11 to determine a potential source of the contamination.

“Approximately 350 to 400 tons of suspected contaminated soil were stockpiled onsite for off-site disposal at a licensed facility,” Simpson said.

Results of the testing are expected back sometime next week.

Simpson said that soil borings and groundwater monitoring wells are slated to be installed on Monday, Sept. 16.

The town will reportedly be given a summary of the findings and remedial plan if needed.

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