Friday, September 22, 2000
Selectmen's concerns delay permission for MTBE cleanup
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has decided to step in to clean up the Daisy hazardous waste site, according to a letter from the DEP to interim town administrator Madonna McKenzie released at the Board of Selectmen meeting on September 12. However, the selectmen have delayed permission to use the town-owned parking lot adjacent to the Daisy property for the project until they have a chance to consult with the Water Quality Committee.
In the letter, DEP project manager Scott Greene stated that, unless owner Robert Daisy takes the necessary response actions, the DEP will perform them using state contractors. (Daisy recently submitted a Financial Inability Application, indicating that he does not have the financial capability to perform the necessary response actions.)
The objective of the proposed work is to decontaminate soil from the site of the former gas station next to the store. The state contractor plans to excavate approximately 1500 cubic yards of clean soil above the contaminated soil, then an additional 1500 yards of contaminated soil at a depth of 12-18 feet. In addition, the contractor will install two well couplets to replace damaged wells, and then monitor groundwater quality for a one-year period.
Due to the depth of the contamination, it will be necessary to remove water from the excavation to permit access to the contaminated soil. Contaminated water will be pumped into a fractionization tank, treated, and discharged into the stormwater catch basin system.
It will be necessary to use the lot next to the Daisy property to park the fractionization tank, and possibly to stockpile clean soil temporarily, prior to backfilling the excavation. Chair Michael Fitzgerald was obviously pleased that remedial action is finally being taken. "We need to be accommodating," he stressed. "The disadvantage of temporarily losing the parking lot is far less than not remedying the site. It would be wrong to impose any level of delay."
Nonetheless selectmen did have several concerns before granting permission to use the parking lot, particularly the discharge of supposedly decontaminated water into the storm drains. If the water still contained some residual MTBE petroleum related toxins, this would result in distributing the contamination even further. Since other groundwater questions were equally perplexing, the board chose to delay their permission until consulting with the Water Quality Committee.
Stressing that they should in no way delay the project, Fitzgerald proposed a "quickie" interim meeting to grant parking lot permission if the state contractor is ready to begin work prior to the next board meeting.(Although the DEP had originally indicated that excavation would be conducted during the week of September 5, at press time no sign of activity had been observed.)
The next meeting of the board of selectmen will be on September 26.
© 2000 The Carlisle Mosquito