SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

April 16, 2014

Superfund work about to begin

Testing to get underway at former Danvers tannery site

DANVERS — Superfund work is about to begin in earnest at the former Creese and Cook Tannery site.

A meeting has been scheduled for April 30 at the Polish Club on Cheever Street to let residents know more about extensive testing planned for the property.

Even the Polish Club’s parking lot will be part of the test site, as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to install a groundwater monitoring well there and take several soil borings.

The numerous borings and wells on the east side of the Crane River, to be done in May and June, will help determine the nature and extent of contamination from former tannery operations, according to an update from the EPA provided by Town Manager Wayne Marquis.

Residents received their updates earlier this week, Marquis said.

The conceptual sampling plan also includes groundwater monitoring wells and soil borings on the grounds of the Crane River East Condominiums on Water St.

“Just the testing alone was going to be in the order of $1.9 million,” Marquis said.

“Information is always important so there are not rumors flying about,” Public Health Director Peter Mirandi said about the meeting.

Residents should be aware that when they see workers in white suits walking around, they are taking precautions to avoid coming into contact with soil from underground that may be contaminated, Mirandi said. He said residents do not need to take similar precautions.

The meeting on Wednesday, April 30, at 7 p.m., will introduce the project team, give a brief site history, summarize past cleanup efforts, show where upcoming field work will take place and provide an overview of the investigation process. Officials will also field questions from residents.

“This is the start of the whole Superfund process,” said Kate Melanson, EPA New England’s community involvement coordinator.

Heavy equipment, such as drill rigs and support trucks, should begin rolling next month, and work should take four to six weeks.

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