Medfield State Hospital – DCAM’s Proposal to ConCom for an Immediate Response Action

After consulting with an expert, SHERC chair, John Thompson, on the environmental clean up of the Medfield State Hospital site DCAM proposes to the Conservation Commission, I suggest that DCAM alter its proposal so as to conform to the best interests of both the Town of Medfield and the general public.

1.    The oil in the Charles River should be removed, not just capped, and
2.    The C & D area should be excavated so that the fill there is no longer in contact with groundwater (instead of being capped in place).  The fill does not need to be taken off-site, as a capped on-site area could be designed parallel with the topographic contours along the gas line. The goal should be to keep the fill above the water table and away from the flood plain.

The town’s concern is that the C & D area is (1) adjacent to the area from which the town’s well #6 draws water, and (2) the land beneath the C & D area is considered as a “potentially productive aquifer,” which could be used for future water supply purposes.  However, if the C & D area is capped with the currently proposed temporary measure, I am told that it is unlikely that the land could ever get permitted for any water supply use.  Therefore leaving the fill below the water table is a bad idea.

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