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EPA changes cleanup plan for Commerce St. site

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Public comments accepted through Feb. 23

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting public comments on a proposed update to its cleanup plan for the Commerce Street Plume Superfund Site on 1 acre of land at 96 Commerce St., in Williston. 

The proposed update, formally called an “Explanation of Significant Differences,” includes a modification of soil cleanup levels, elimination of the use of chemical oxidation of groundwater and modifying the method for preventing volatile contaminants from accumulating in the home on the site. 

According to the EPA, the changes won’t fundamentally change the scope or cost of the project.

The site was home to various manufacturing and electroplating operations since 1960. The primary source of contamination was an unlined lagoon used to dispose of industrial rinse water and sludge wastes. 

During a 1982 investigation of the site, the State of Vermont found the company on the site in violation of hazardous waste regulations for the disposal of chromium-contaminated wastes. Contaminated soil, sediment and groundwater with metals and industrial solvents were found. The site was added to the EPA’s National Priority List in 2005.

The site was recently selected to receive funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The funding will jump start the groundwater cleanup, which has been awaiting funding since 2018.

More information about the Explanation of Significant Differences can be found at www.epa.gov/superfund/commercestreet and at the Dorothy Alling Memorial Library.

Public comments will be accepted through Feb. 23 and can be emailed to Darryl Luce at luce.darryl@epa.gov or mailed to: Darryl Luce; U.S. EPA Region 1 Mail Code: 07-1; 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100; Boston, MA 02109-3912.

For more information, contact EPA Community Involvement Coordinator Charlotte Gray at gray.charlotte@epa.gov or (617) 918-1243.