DEP Email to PIP Member re Timing of MSH Clean Up

Bill Massaro queried DEP and got the response below –


8/23/2011 11:42AM
RE: 1.) Friday’s Meeting;   2.) PIP Review Concerns
“Baldi, Mark (DEP)”
“wmassaro” mike sullivan  osler peterson  John Thompson  Andrea Stiller  “mvandeusen/”  “Gardner, Mary (DEP)”  “ODonnell, John (DCP)” “Duran, Sandra (DCP)”

Thank you for attending the meeting on Friday, August 19, to discuss the concerns of the Public Involvement Plan (PIP) petitioners regarding the IRA Plan and associated, focused Phase III feasibility evaluation for the C& Area at the former Medfield State Hospital.

Regarding the issue of steam pipe conduits and storm drains.  Utilities and drainage systems that could provide preferential migration pathways for groundwater contamination will need to be identified for the final Phase II Comprehensive Site Assessment Report.  Potential preferential migration pathways will need to be evaluated and assessed per 310 CMR 40.0835(4)(e)2, 40.0904(2)(c), and the SPD Permit approval; or eliminated as preferential migration pathways with substantiated Technical Justification, as per 310 CMR 40.0193, 40.0835(4), e.g. groundwater gauging, tracer tests, geophysical investigation, sampling, etc.

Regarding the PIP review period, the Phase III is a required integral part of the IRA Plan.  The MCP notes that time critical elements of an IRA may be conducted prior to close of the 20-day public comment period, pursuant to 310 CMR 40.01403(9)(h).  MassDEP considers the IRA as time critical to complete the construction work during the low water season in the river before mid-October and thereby contain and control further erosion of the bank and capping of petroleum-contaminated sediment in the river until dredging can be accomplished next year.  The substantive scope of work for the IRA was provided in the IRA Plan submitted on July 10, 2011, and the public comment period has been met for that submittal with the meeting of last Friday providing additional opportunity for comment.  Nonetheless, as the Phase III component was not posted to the public until August 16, MassDEP will extend the IRAP comment period, to include the Phase III evaluation, to ensure remedial actions are not conducted during the 20-day public comment period, and allow MassDEP to consider comments and issue a Conditional Approval of the IRA.   In particular, MassDEP would encourage PIP petitioners and stakeholders to provide specific alternatives to riprap, based upon site specific and engineering considerations.

MassDEP appreciates yours and other stakeholders attention to these matters to achieve a safe, environmentally beneficial, and cost-effective solution, meeting the Massachusetts Contingency Plan’s requirements of 310 CMR 40.0850.

Thank you,

Mark Baldi
Section Chief, Audits
Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup
MassDEP, Central Region
(508) 767-2803
From: wm massaro
Sent: Monday, August 22, 2011 2:11 PM
To: Baldi, Mark (DEP)
Cc: mike sullivan; osler peterson; John Thompson; Andrea Stiller
Subject: 1.) Friday’s Meeting; 2.) PIP Review Concerns


1.)  Friday’s Meeting.  I want to  thank you for calling Friday’s meeting.

Like you, I was surprised by the number of attendees.  I had tried to get  some kind of scoping sessions started at the beginning of summer, and Commissioner Cornelison had seemed receptive, but if I understood reports by attendees from Medfield at  the first “technical” meeting, it seemed to be more heavily attended by the State’s administrative/financial staff than by environmental/engineering  types.

I was very disappointed that I had to bring up, in the face of DCAM’s apparent unwillingness to broach the subject,  the CVOC plume issue and then have to inquire if its remediation could be impacted by the planned IRA solution .   I appreciate your direction to DCAM  that additional sampling was required to determine if the plume had migrated under the river.   (Please note: Medfield had requested sampling closer to the river and sampling for migration under the river, in our 31 January 2011 CVOC Supplemental SOW Overburden Wells comment/concern submissions. My records indicate that responses from DCAM were not received until 6 July 2011, and migration under the river was not investigated as we learned Friday.)

Also, in my  May 2011 comments to the Interim Phase II report, I had asked about the impact of Storm or other water in the C&D Area based on the discovery of an hydrologic connection—- steam conduit between the upper campus to the PP area, and then to an inlet pipe to catch basins.  A drain manhole was found in the PP area but water flow testing indicated it was blocked and no discharge point was found.  In their 6 july 2011 response (e- copy not available, hardcopy mailed 18 july 2011) , DCAM replied only that steam pipe conduits were the “responsibility of the developer”.

Given the opportunity at Friday’s meeting to go over this response, I would’ve asked how or if the proposed activity in the C&D Area might unblock this or affect other unknown discharges in the area.

2.)  PIP Review Concerns :    As I have said  several times before, an incremental release of technical data throughout the entire SPD effort, but particularly release of the results from 2011 Phase II CSA sampling, if available for discussion  before the flurry of parallel NOI/IRA/NPC/USACOE approval/certification releases might have eased some of the frustration for the Town and facilitated the process for DCAM.

The Phase III Feasibility Evaluation for the C&D Area was released to the DEP Web-site on 8/16.  I am assuming that this document is subject to the PIP process. Public review and comment of this document was significantly impeded by unreleased Phase II CSA data because initial assessment could proceed only as far as identifying what was still needed to enable us to perform a complete review prior to a comment and concern submittal.  This missing/unreleased data list was submitted to DEP/DCAM on 17 August 2011 and  most of the requested information begann arriving mid-day on 18 August.

I believe that sufficient time should be allowed for PIP review of the  FE in light of the “new” and highly relevant data.   It is my understanding that 20 days is the MCP defined period for reviews.  If this is correct  I request your confirmation that the PIP group will be allowed this period, from the release of data on 18 August  to adequately assess and then comment on the FE,  before DEP approval of the remediation work is granted.

Thank you again for your continuing attention and assistance,


One response to “DEP Email to PIP Member re Timing of MSH Clean Up

  1. Margaret Van Deusen

    3 representatives of the Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) attended the 8/19 meeting at DEP w/ DCAM and thank Bill Massaro for his summary of the meeting. To clarify, however, CRWA’s objection to using 200+ feet of rip rap on the banks of the river isn’t just about aesthetics in this beautiful stretch of the Charles, but rather, about DCAM’s permanent obliteration of, and failure to restore, important river bank habitat.
    Margaret Van Deusen
    CRWA Deputy Director