DEM: Contaminated soil on Pascoag church property poses ‘no immediate issue’ for residents’ water


BURRILLVILLE – Contamination found in the soil on the site of Pascoag Community Baptist Church  should pose no immediate issue for residents’ drinking water, according to information provided this week by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.

RIDEM has been helping the church to do work at the site, which includes removing soils contaminated from a leak at a gas station once situated on the northwest corner of the property.

Nearby residents were notified of a site investigation of the property taking place this month in a letter sent by RIDEM in late August.

Currently, there is a pile of contaminated soil on the property at 115 Church St., which will soon be removed according to RIDEM spokesperson Gail Mastrati.

Engineering firm Vanasse Hagin Brustlin Inc. has been conducting testing on the property on behalf of RIDEM. Limited testing was done on the site in March of 2018, and volatile organic compounds were found “above GA Leachability Criteria and GA Groundwater Objectives,” according to a communication with NRI NOW from Rachel Simpson, senior environmental scientist for RIDEM,

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 have been stockpiled at the property for off-site disposal.

The church purchased the property after the gas station was demolished in the 1980s. The area is served by public water.

“Past groundwater data shows low or moderate levels of contamination for petroleum,” said Mastrati. “We see no immediate issue for any residents’ drinking water.”

The town is expected to receive a summary of the findings and a remedial plan if needed by the end of this month.

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