RIDEM removes 254 tons of contaminated soil from Pascoag church property


BURRILLVILLE – Contaminated soil caused by a leak from tanks stored underground at a former gas station has been removed by a firm working for the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.

Engineering firm Vanasse Hagin Brustlin Inc. notified the town this month that their work at the Pascoag Community Baptist Church is now complete, and the site will now be managed by RIDEM Underground Storage Tank Management Program.

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 RIDEM. More soil samples were taken in 2019, and over the past year, officials have worked to develop a remediation plan.

In a letter dated October 29 and addressed to Town Manager Michael Wood firm VHB notes that recently, 254 tons of contaminated soils were excavated from the site and transported to a disposal facility.

Groundwater testing, however, has shown that contamination still exceeds RIDEM standards, according to the notice.

The area is served by public water, so the groundwater contamination is believed to pose no immediate threat for nearby residents.

The two tanks on the site were installed in 1984 and have 4,000 and 5,000 gallon capacities, according to RIDEM data, which lists the leak status on one tank, discovered in 2018, as “active.”

The church purchased the property at 175 Church St. after the gas station was demolished in the 1980s.

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