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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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w r grace



Mark Nagorney

Allison Polster

Dan King

site description
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 description3
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
site description4
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
threats and contaminants
Threats and Contaminants
  • Volatile Organic Compounds
    • 1,1 DCE
    • Benzene
    • vinyl chloride
    • ethyl benzene
    • inorganics including
      • iron,
      • manganese
      • lead
      • Arsenic
      • chromium
      • nickel
threats and contaminants 1 1 dce
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
threats and contaminants 1 1 dce7
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
  • 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
  • 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
clean up
  • 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
initial action
Initial Action
  • The companies responsible for site contamination removed the hazardous storage tanks from the site in 1982 and 1983.
aquifer restoration
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
landfill and lagoon closure
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
groundwater treatment
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
environmental progress
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.
current site status
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