EPA to move forward with groundwater cleanup plan for Oxford Road Superfund site

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NORTH SMITHFIELD – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has selected a final plan to address groundwater contamination at the Landfill and Resource Recovery, Inc. Superfund Site located on Oxford Road.

According to a release from the EPA, the cleanup remedy includes the following components:

  • 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 cleanup remedy is estimated to cost approximately $11.7 million and to take approximately two to three years to design and implement. Groundwater is estimated to achieve cleanup standards immediately downgradient of the remedy within approximately 20 years. Institutional controls will prevent exposure to contaminated groundwater at the site until cleanup levels are met, according to the agency.

The 28-acre 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. EPA issued a record of decision selecting a remedy for the landfill in 1988. Construction of the landfill remedy was completed in 1995 and monitoring and operation and maintenance activities are on-going.

The agency solicited feedback on potential plans to now address groundwater contamination last year, holding a public hearing in August.

The administrative record and information about the Landfill and Resource Recovery, Inc. Superfund site cleanup may also be viewed online at: https://go.usa.gov/xfQbz or by appointment only via computer at the North Smithfield Town Hall Records Room located at 83 Greene Street, North Smithfield, RI 02896; phone: 401-767-2200 ext. 504. Residents are advised to call in advance, as this location may be closed to public at this time.

For questions or assistance in accessing Landfill and Resource Recovery, Inc. site records, contact the EPA Region 1 Superfund Record Center at 617-918-1440 or by email at R1.Records-SEMS@epa.gov.

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