$15 million construction project for the Commerce Street Plume Superfund Site slated to start this summer

WILLISTON, Vt. (April 17, 2024) – Starting this summer, the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (VTDEC), with EPA oversight, will break ground on a remedial action for the cleanup of groundwater at the Commerce Street Plume Superfund Site in Williston, Vermont. The goal of this work is to cleanup groundwater to meet VTDEC drinking water requirements and prevent the spread of trichloroethylene (TCE) contamination. More information on this work can be found in VTDEC factsheet: Commerce Street Plume Superfund Site Groundwater Remedial Action Update (pdf) (1.1 MB).

In order to inform the local community about the construction activities happening at the site, VTDEC is hosting a public meeting on April 29, 2024 at 6 p.m. at the Williston Town Hall (7900 Williston Rd, Williston, VT 05495) with representatives from EPA in attendance. Join the meeting in person or virtually by clicking this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84071718141.

“Superfund cleanups can be a long road for communities. Fortunately, the influx of funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is propelling these cleanups forward, especially in communities with environmental justice concerns,” said EPA New England Regional Administrator David W. Cash. “This is once again a positive partnership between the federal government and the state. When partners can come together and do necessary work, local communities are the ones who reap the benefits.”

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will provide $15 million to this project in the form of a Cooperative Agreement to VTDEC with oversight from EPA to start the physical construction of the groundwater cleanup. This work is expected to begin the summer of 2024 and will be on various properties throughout the Williston, Vermont community.

“Investments like these not only clean up contaminated sites but also protect the health and well-being of our communities. I commend the collaborative efforts between our federal and state partners for their commitment to environmental stewardship for the betterment of Vermonters,” said VTDEC Commissioner Jason Batchelder.

Background

The Commerce Street Plume Superfund Site is located in an industrial park in Williston, Vermont. The site includes a one-acre property at 96 Commerce Street containing a 6,000-square-foot building. Beginning in 1960, various manufacturing and electroplating operations occurred on the property. Due to the site’s previous use in manufacturing operations, the primary source of contamination was an unlined lagoon at the property which was used to dispose of industrial rinse water and sludge waste. During a 1982 investigation of the site, the State of Vermont found the company operating there in violation of hazardous waste regulations for the disposal of chromium-contaminated wastes. Facility operations and disposal practices resulted in contaminated soil, sediment and groundwater with metals and industrial solvents. The site was added to EPA’s Superfund National Priority List in 2005.

Previous Cleanup Activities

In 2017, about 830 cubic yards of contaminated soil was excavated and disposed off-site as part of site restoration activities and in 2018, planting, seeding, and grading were completed. The soil remediation for the site is complete and is currently in the operation and maintenance phase.

From 2018 – 2021, vapor mitigation and construction were performed at a property on South Brownell Road by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation. The remedial design for the groundwater component of the remedy was completed in June 2019.

More information:

Commerce Street Plume Superfund Site Webpage

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