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Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England

Nichols Street

Improper storage and potential discharge of photographic solutions at a private home.

On July 20, 2009, EPA received a call about the improper storage and potential discharge of photographic solutions at a private home. The initial report indicated that drums and containers were observed in a double car garage. Liquid was observed on the garage floor near the drums.

The Mass. Department of Environmental Protection, the Danvers Fire Department and EPA were notified and dispatched to the residence. When they arrived, the garage door was open and drums and liquid material could be seen on the floor from the street. It was deemed to be an imminent and substantial threat. The Danvers fire chief, DEP and EPA evaluated the situation and were given access to the property by a resident of the home.

No volatile organic compounds (VOCs), explosive atmosphere or radiation were detected by field instruments; however, they observed about 50 drums and containers in the garage, including some 12 corroded steel drums, as well as another 50 containers in a box truck parked in the driveway and more than 100 drums in a shed behind the box truck. All of these containers were suspected to contain photographic wastes consisting of acids and base compounds.

The property is in a residential neighborhood, with the nearest house only 150 feet away and Interstate 95 a half mile west. The responders requested that the homeowner address the containers. The homeowners agreed to hire a contractor to over-pack the corroded drums in the garage. DEP also requested that homeowner sign a “Notice of Responsibility.” DEP, EPA and the Danvers Fire Department were given access to the property to oversee the cleanup.

On July 21 and 22, 2009 negotiations continued between DEP and the homeowner regarding funding for the cleanup. While negotiations continued, the cleanup contractor addressed the various containers, and EPA continued making site observations and offered technical support. On July 22, 2009, EPA was notified by DEP that the homeowner would take responsibility for the cleanup, and EPA left on July 22, 2009. The homeowner's contractor inventoried, packaged and shipped off site nearly 65 drums and 55 other containers from the garage and box truck parked in the driveway. Due to the presence of the photographic solutions, the town of Danvers condemned the residence on July 22, 2009. No further response actions are planned by EPA, but the state DEP oversaw the cleanup action.

Location: Danvers, MA
EPA Mobilization Date*: 07/20/2009
EPA Demobilization Date*: 07/23/2009
Contact: Claudia Deane (deane.claudia@epa.gov)

*The information contained on this website is merely informational; any dates found on the website cannot be relied upon to create any rights, substantive or procedural, enforceable by any party in litigation with the United States. EPA reserves the right to change such dates at any time without public notice.

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