ATTLEBORO — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency aims to release a plan in the fall to address remaining pollution concerns near the Walton & Lonsbury Superfund site on North Avenue.
Officials briefed around 40 neighborhood residents on the effort Monday during a meeting at Attleboro Public Library.
The plan, which is scheduled for release in September, will be formulated after EPA officials analyze reams of data they’ve collected between 2014 and this year.
Project manager Ethan Finkel said those years were spent collecting and analyzing soil, water and air samples to determine how far various pollutants, including lead, trichloroethylene (TCE) and the highly toxic hexavalent chromium have spread from the former chrome plating plant and how much danger they present.
Once that determination is made, they’ll formulate a plan to address the problems.
Walton & Lonsbury, located at 78 North Ave., closed in 2007 after operating for 67 years. For many of those years the company dumped pollutants directly into nearby wetlands.
Immediate threats were removed during work that took place from 2010 through 2013 and the property became a Superfund site in 2013 when it became evident cleanup would require millions of dollars more. All told, the EPA has spend $15 million on the project so far.
The company left behind badly polluted wetlands to its south and badly polluted soil in the backyards of homes on Paulette Lane, which is located off the east side of North Avenue and south of the Walton & Lonsbury site.
The backyards of some of those homes were contaminated from a plume of water-borne hexavalent chromium and were dug up and replaced.
A barrier was installed to prevent the toxic substance from coming to the surface.
There’s a plume of TCE in the same area.
Finkel and EPA Superfund section chief Dan Keefe said they have concerns about the continuing presence of hexavalent chromium in Bliss Brook.
Also of concern is the presence of lead in the soil behind homes on the west side of North Avenue just south of the Walton & Lonsbury site and the presence of TCE in the soil which could infiltrate as a vapor into as many as three homes. Those homes are monitored.
Officials are also focused on the Walton & Lonsbury site itself. They want to determine what level of cleanup is needed to make it usable in the future.