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W.R.Grace. By: Mark Nagorney Allison Polster Dan King. Site Description:. Located in the towns of Acton and Concord, Massachusetts Approximately 260 acres Former location of the American Cyanamid Company and the Dewey & Almy Chemical Company. Site Description:.

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Mark Nagorney

Allison Polster

Dan King

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Site Description:

  • Located in the towns of Acton and Concord, Massachusetts

  • Approximately 260 acres

  • Former location of the American Cyanamid Company and the Dewey & Almy Chemical Company

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Site Description:

  • Solid and hazardous wastes were buried in or placed onto an on-site industrial landfill and several other disposal areas

  • These other waste sites included the Battery Separator Lagoons, the Battery Separator Chip Pile, the Boiler Lagoon, and the Tank Car Area

  • All discharges sent to the unlined pits by W.R Grace were ceased in 1980

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Site Description:

  • They produced sealant products for rubber containers, latex products, plasticizers, resins, and other products

  • W. R. Grace purchased the properties of American Cyanamid and Dewey & Almy in 1954

  • W. R. Grace facility produces materials used to make concrete, container sealing compounds, latex products and paper and plastic battery separators.

  • Liquid wastes from the manufacturing process were disposed of into several unlined lagoons

  • These lagoons were the: primary lagoon, secondary lagoon, north lagoon, and the emergency lagoon

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Threats and Contaminants

  • Volatile Organic Compounds

    • 1,1 DCE

    • Benzene

    • vinyl chloride

    • ethyl benzene

    • inorganics including

      • iron,

      • manganese

      • lead

      • Arsenic

      • chromium

      • nickel

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Threats and Contaminants1,1 DCE

  • 1,1-Dichloroethylene

  • Organic liquid with a mild, sweet, chloroform-like odor

  • Most all of it is used in making adhesives, synthetic fibers, refrigerants, food packaging and coating resins

  • Other names

    • 1,1-DCE

    • 1,1-Dichloroethene

    • Asym-dichloro-ethylene

    • Vinylidene chloride

  • When released into water, 1,1-DCE will evaporate from soil and will leach into the groundwater where its fate is unknown, but degradation is expected to be slow

  • This is the treatment method approved by the EPA: Granular activated charcoal in combination with Packed Tower Aeration

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Threats and Contaminants1,1 DCE

  • Regulation:

    • The MCLG is set at 7 parts per billion

    • Given present technology and resources, this is the lowest level to which water systems can reasonably be required to remove this contaminant should it occur in drinking water

  • Health Effects:

    • Short period of exposed time: Liver damage

    • Long period of exposed time: liver and kidney damage, as well as toxicity to the developing fetus; cancer

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  • Benzene is a clear, colorless aromatic liquid

  • Highly Flammable

  • The greatest use of benzene is as a building block for making plastics, rubber, resins and synthetic fabrics like nylon and polyester

  • Other uses include: as a solvent in printing, paints, dry cleaning and so on

  • Other names:

    • Benzol 90

    • Pyrobenzol

    • Polystream

    • Coal naphtha

    • Phene

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  • Regulation:

    • The MCLG for benzene has been set at zero

    • The MCL has been set at 5 parts per billion

  • Health Effects:

    • Short term exposure: temporary nervous system disorders, immune system depression, anemia

    • Long term exposure: chromosome aberrations, cancer

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  • Clean up is being handled in 4 stages: Interim Actions and three long-term operable unit (OU) remedial phases which focus on aquifer restoration

    • OU 1- soil removal and remediation, landfill and lagoon closures

    • OU 2-residual soil contamination

    • OU 3-on-site and off-site groundwater, surface water, sediments and wetlands

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Initial Action

  • The companies responsible for site contamination removed the hazardous storage tanks from the site in 1982 and 1983.

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Aquifer Restoration

  • The companies held responsible have installed and operated an Aquifer Restoration System

  • This system pumps contaminated groundwater and then removes the contaminants by air stripping/volatilization

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Landfill and Lagoon Closure

  • The EPA's recommended cleanup plan included:

    • excavating and transporting for off-site incineration the highly contaminated material from the Blowdown Pit

    • excavating and stabilizing the material in the Blowdown Pit, the Primary Lagoon, Secondary Lagoon, North Lagoon, and Emergency Lagoon by mixing it with cement, lime, and fly ash to form a solid

    • excavating the soils from the Battery Separator Lagoons

    • Boiler Lagoon, and Tank Car area; placing both the stabilized and non-stabilized materials excavated from the site in the existing industrial landfill and covering these materials with a cap to prevent surface water or rain water from coming into contact with the buried contaminants; closing the Chip Pile area

    • modifying the Aquifer Restoration System to address emission controls

    • extensive monitoring activities in each area

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Groundwater Treatment

  • W.R. Grace has maintained and operated a groundwater pump and treatment system which removes volatile organic compounds from groundwater since 1985

  • Currently the companies responsible has been performing a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study and human health and ecological risk assessment for on and off site groundwater, surface water and sediments to determine the nature, extent, levels and threats of hazardous contaminants

  • A Final Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study will be prepared and submitted by the companies responsible under, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and town oversight by the end of this June

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Environmental Progress

  • Removing the storage tanks, contaminated materials and installing the aquifer restoration system have greatly reduced the potential for exposure to hazardous substances in groundwater

  • September of 1997 over 100,000 cubic yards of contaminated materials were excavated or treated on-site by thermal treatment & solidification

  • Some highly contaminated materials were shipped offsite so they could get proper disposal

  • The Aquifer Restoration System has removed approximately 7,600 pounds of total VOCs from groundwater.

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Current Site Status

  • OU 1 and OU 2 activities at the site have been completed

  • Activities such as the removal, solidification/stabilization, and placement/capping of contaminated soils and sludges into an on-site landfill have been done

  • groundwater recovery and air stripping tower is currently operating at the site