This month, work on the old landfill in Island Park has reportedly reached the one-quarter completion mark, and recent tests of soil deliveries have shown no unacceptable levels of contaminants, according to sources at the state Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and a spokesperson for the contractor.
The area along Park Ave between Boyd's Lane and Mason Avenue has been fairly busy over the last month, with dump trucks bringing in soil several days a week as part of the ongoing effort to cap what was once a town dump, determined by DEM to have dangerous levels of contaminants.
The owner of the property, AP Enterprise, is working with Massachusetts remediation firm Site Restoration Technologies to execute the plan in the DEM-approved "Beneficial Use Determination (BUD). According to DEM's Mark Dennen, who has been monitoring the process and conducting site inspections, the soil coming in on the trucks has met appropriate standards.
"The vast majority of the soil brought to the site in the past month is from the Morton School Project in Fall River," Dennen said in an e-mail exchange. "This soil was tested by a third party for the full suite of contaminants; TPH, VOCs, SVOCs, PCBs and metals." (View results here.) Some additional soil came from a bridge project in Pawtucket, Dennen said, and he provided a link to those testing results as well.
Dennen also sent the most recent site report from a visit last month (see PDF), as well as the results of an independent sample he took (see PDF) during the visit, which also showed acceptable levels of both arsenic and lead. The report shows that the arsenic level was 2.6 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) which is less than half the residential limit of 7mg/kg, and lead came in at 15mg/kg, which is one-tenth the residential standard.
David Peter, a principal at Site Restoration Technologies, provided details on the project status in a phone interview. "It's about 25% done," said Peter, explaining that between 40 and 50 thousand tons of soil had already been brought in to the site.
Peter said that they were "hoping to have it done this year," but that a variety of factors were slowing things down — notably, the impact of the recession on the construction industry (which would generate fill) and the inability to use the Sakonnet River Bridge. "We would probably be done by now if the Sakonnet River Bridge was done."
Peter said they had prioritized work to cap the southeast corner of the site, near the intersection of Park Avenue and Mason — which is a school bus stop. "We are using our heads," he said. "That's the area of greatest potential impact." The plan, he said, was to get that section graded, capped with the required two feet of residential-grade fill, and planted with grass seed in time for summer. "When people go to the beach, we don't want it to look like a construction site."
Full disclosure: Our family lives two streets from the landfill.