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W.R. Grace Site

(This page updated June 9, 2006)

Technical Evaluations

The W. R. Grace Site has been found to be highly contaminated with asbestos and hydrocarbons. Alewife Neighbors has secured three consecutive one-year Technical Assistance Grants from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to follow the progress of the clean-up and provide information to the neighbors.

Through this funding, Alewife Neighbors hired a Licensed Site Professional (LSP) to oversee collection of the soil and air samples and to perform independent analyses of samples shared with the consultants hired by W.R. Grace and the City of Cambridge. Additionally, the Licensed Site Professional reviewed the documentation provided by the consultants hired by W.R. Grace.

Draft Public Involvement Plan (PIP) dated June 2006

Also: Final Activity and Use Limitation (AUL) Documents
dated February 16, 2006 by W.R. Grace and March 1, 2006 by the LSP

The updated PIP ensures that the public will be notified of activities that would significantly disturb soil that may be contain asbestos. It also ensures that the public will have a voice in developing plans for containing the asbestos if any such activities are planned, such as during possible future development of the site.

The AUL is a deed restriction filed with the Registry of Deeds; however, the restriction can be amended or even removed with the approval of the state Dept. of Environmental Protection

State watch ends although asbestos contamination will remain in soil

The Massachusetts clean-up process has been privatized, so consultants hired by W. R. Grace represent the state. The hundreds of thousands of pounds of asbestos fibers buried in the soil are not a current health risk, but would be if the site is developed. The consultants were allowed to end the state watch by writing instructions supposed to be followed by the heavy construction machine operators and by limiting uses of the site.

The AUL is a deed restriction on site activities and uses that take into consideration contamination on site that could pose a significant risk to health, safety and/or welfare, but that is not planned to be cleaned up because it does not pose a risk under the current site usage.

Below are copies of the draft version of the Public Involvement Plan

June 2006 Draft Public Involvement Plan, main text developed by Haley & Aldrich

June 2006 Draft Public Involvement Plan, including map and list of reference documents developed by Haley & Aldrich

October 2005 Suggested changes to 1995 PIP submitted by Alewife Neighbors to Haley & Aldrich

December 1995 Public Involvement Plan in current form approved my Mass. Dept. of Environmental Protection

The following documents have been filed with the Middlesex Registry of Deeds

February/March 2006 Activity and Use Limitation for main W.R. Grace property

February/March 2006 Activity and Use Limitation for "Lehigh/Babos area" at the corner of Alewife Brook Parkway and Rindge Avenue

February/March 2006 Activity and Use Limitation for large area not intended for W.R. Grace business operations and formerly scheduled for development

Below are some of the milestones during the remediation process and associated correspondence.

Additional information is available at the Alewife Study Group website. The site has historical information as well as updates on the Utility Trench Excavation.

Also see the Reports section of this site for archived reports from federal government agencies (EPA and ATSDR) related to the Grace Site.


Map of Asbestos Contamination at W.R. Grace Site, 62 Whittemore Ave., Cambridge, MA

Locations marked in red had detectable asbestos by PLM, Polarized Light Microscopy, at the percentage indicated
TR = trace, less than 1% ; TEM is detection by Transmission Electron Microscopy
Larger version of the map download to see detail

27 December 1995 "Public Involvement Plan" by Haley & Aldrich - specifies public involvement opportunities during the clean-up

22 April 1999 "Draft Airborne Asbestos Management and Monitoring Plan" released by Haley & Aldrich

22 February 2000 "Phase III Remedial Action Plan" released by Haley & Aldrich

13 June 2000 "Phase III Remedial Action Plan Review" by GeoInsight, commissioned by Alewife Neighbors.

March 13, 2001 "Review of EPA Preliminary Assessment/Site Investigation Report" by GeoInsight, commissioned by Alewife Neighbors.

April 2001 "Airborne Asbestos Management and Monitoring Plan for Soil Disturbing Activities" released as an appendix of the following document.

3 May 2001 "Final Utility Trench Excavation Release Abatement Measure (RAM) Plan/Asbestos Soil Management Plan (ASMP)" released by Haley & Aldrich

August 2, 2001 "Draft Decision Regarding Utility Trench Excavation" by Cambridge Public Health Department

13 August 2001 "Addendum to Final Utility Trench Excavation, Release Abatement Measure (RAM) Plan/Asbestos Soil Management Plan" Public Comment Draft released by Haley & Aldrich.

3 September 2001 "Comments: Addendum to Utility Trench Excavation Release Abatement Measure (RAM) Plan/Asbestos Soil Management Plan" submitted by Alewife Neighbors

7 September 2001 "Review of Haley & Aldrich, Inc. Responses to Public Comments Contained in April 2001 Final Airborne Asbestos Management and Monitoring Plan" by GeoInsight, commissioned by Alewife Neighbors.

4 December 2001 "Tier I Permit Extension Application" request by Alewife Neighbors to DEP for a public comment period.

15 January 2002 "Public Comment Period (PC-1) for Tier I Permit Extension Application" by Alewife Neighbors.

13 July 2004 "Comments on the Asbestos Risk Characterization" letter from DEP to WR Grace.

AUL

24 November 2004 Excerpts from the site Risk Characterization showing the significant cancer risk potential during site development.

3 December 2004 AUL Opinion draft version of Activity and Use Limitation Opinion by Haley & Aldrich.

3 December 2004 Form 1075 AUL draft version of legal format of AUL (deed restriction) by Haley & Aldrich.

18 January 2005 Review of Response Action Outcome Statement, Risk Characterization, and Activity and Use Limitation by GeoInsight, commissioned by Alewife Neighbors.

19 January 2005 Notice of revised draft AUL as part of the Public Involvement Plan by Haley & Aldrich

19 January 2005 Revised AUL Opinion updated draft version of Activity and Use Limitation Opinion by Haley & Aldrich.

19 January 2005 Revised Form 1075 AUL for the WR Grace facility updated draft version of legal format of AUL (deed restriction) by Haley & Aldrich.

19 January 2005 Revised Form 1075 AUL for Alewife Land Corp. updated draft version of legal format of AUL (deed restriction), by Haley & Aldrich, for WR Grace property not planned for use by WR Grace operations, possibly for future development.

28 January 2005 Public Health Risk from Asbestos in Soil: WR Grace Disposal Site by from Dr. L. Christine Oliver

Landscaping

16 May 2005 Proposed Landscaping Project and Map by Haley & Aldrich


Contact Alewife Neighbors, Inc., North Cambridge, Massachusetts, by email at info@AlewifeNeighbors.org