NORTH SMITHFIELD – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released a proposed plan to cleanup groundwater at the Landfill and Resource Recovery, Inc. Superfund Site located on Oxford Road in North Smithfield.

The proposed plan’s purpose is to inform the public of the alternatives considered and solicit comment on EPA’s preferred remedy. EPA will also hold an informational public meeting and a formal public hearing on the proposal on Wednesday, Aug. 12.

Highlights of EPA’s proposed cleanup plan include:

– Below ground treatment and sequestration of groundwa­ter contaminants using a two-stage reactive treatment zone.
– Land use restrictions to prohibit the use of contami­nated groundwater until cleanup levels are met and to require evaluation of the vapor intrusion pathway as part of new building construc­tion.
– Contingency implementation of active groundwater extraction and above ground treatment, if results from treatability studies indicate that the proposed remedy will not be effective in attaining cleanup levels at the site.
– Restoration with native vegetation of any wetland habitat altered by the remedial action.
– Long-term groundwater, surface water, and residential well monitoring.
– Periodic reviews, at a minimum of every five years, to assess the protectiveness of the remedy.

EPA’s proposed remedy for to address groundwater at the site is estimated to cost approximately $11.7 million and take approximately two to three years to design and implement. Groundwater is estimated to achieve cleanup standards downgradient of the remedy within approximately 20 years, and throughout the site, outside the landfill boundary, within approximately 55-119 years.

A more detailed description of this proposal is outlined in the Feasibility Study Report dated June 2020 and available on EPA’s website.

According to a release from the EPA, in selecting a final cleanup plan, the agency must consider the effectiveness of the remedy at reducing contamination to ensure protectiveness of human health and the environment, cost, implementability, and state and community acceptance. The agency encourages public input on the proposed plan for the Landfill and Resource Recovery, Inc. Superfund Site and will provide opportunities during the virtual public hearing and during the 30-day comment period.

The 28-acre Landfill & Resource Recovery Site is an inactive landfill on Oxford Road that began as a sand and gravel operation. The landfill began accepting residential waste in 1927, and over its years of operation it also accepted commercial and industrial wastes. Operation of the landfill stopped in January 1985 after several orders from the Superior Court of Rhode Island.

EPA has estimated that more than 2 million gallons of hazardous chemicals including solvents, plating waste, asbestos, oils and dyes were brought to the landfill for disposal. Construction of the landfill remedy was completed in 1995 and monitoring and operation and maintenance activities are on-going.

EPA is accepting comments on the proposed plan, which must be submitted no later than Friday, Aug. 28, and can be submitted either in writing or orally during the virtual public hearing or via voicemail. Copies of the detailed proposed plan, as well as historical information about EPA’s efforts at the L&RR Superfund Site may be viewed on EPA’s website at: www.epa.gov/superfund/lrr.

If local conditions allow, the proposed plan may also be reviewed at the Site information repository at the Municipal Annex Building, 575 Smithfield Road by calling 401-767-2200.

On Wednesday, Aug. 12 at 7 p.m., EPA will hold an informational public meeting, followed by a formal public hearing. The meeting and hearing will be conducted virtually via Skype and telephone due to state restrictions on public gatherings and in the interest of public safety. Closed captioning will also be provided. Details for how to participate will be available at EPA’s website at: www.epa.gov/superfund/lrr .

Comments may also be submitted in writing during the 30-day public comment period, which may be submitted via email, fax or mail to:

Hoshaiah Barczynski, Remedial Project Manager
US EPA New England
5 Post Office Square, Mail Code: SEMD 07-01
Boston, MA 02109
FAX: 617-918-0275
barczynski.hoshaiah@epa.gov

EPA has established a dedicated voice mailbox at 617-918-1910 to receive oral comments during the 30-day comment period. There is a five-minute limit to voicemail messages.

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