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Landfill Conditions Should be Documented

Questions need to be answered in writing by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection before any further speculation becomes the basis for conclusions on the Attleboro Landfill capping proposal.

In the Sept. 12 Sun Chronicle article titled "Wrangling Over Landfill Fight," I take issue with one paragraph:

The material (which EndCap proposes to haul in) is considered slightly contaminated, but is not nearly as contaminated as what is already in the dump, and is a threat to leach into groundwater if the dump is not capped, according to DEP.

If that is the case, MassDEP needs to document it in writing.

While there is indeed paperwork listing the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), including dangerous carcinogenic chemicals in the "Phase A" mound, and US EPA has documented that there is leaching from the Attleboro Landfill "Phase A" mound into the Shpack Superfund Site, that portion of the Attleboro Landfill has been capped and certified by DEP.

EndCap's One Million, Two Hundred Thousand Tons of additional "Slightly" Contaminated (by their own admission) debris would be piled onto what appears to be a low and level, relatively benign 10-acre parcel of overgrown wetlands.

On Sept. 12, I e-mailed an urgent letter to MassDEP, requesting that the department immediately clarify conditions at the Attleboro Landfill "Phase B" parcel—including: What specific types of materials were dumped there, when and by whom, the volume of foreign materials and the current elevation of the site? What dangerous substances has DEP detected in this "Phase B" portion of the landfill, and what evidence is there of any contaminants leaching from this site into groundwater?

This critical information should have been included in the department’s "site history." And these questions need to be answered in writing by DEP before any further speculation becomes the basis for conclusions on EndCap's capping proposal. What exactly needs fixing in the "Phase B" site, other than application of a minimum clean cap?

For the record: The position of our "Citizens Advisory Shpack Team" is that there are no longer concessions the Project Proponent can offer that will satisfy us. In 2012, the representative for EndCap has lied on more than one occasion.

CAST will not deal (on any level) with parties that have proven to be untrustworthy.

If EndCap continues to pursue this dumping project, we have 100 sign frames, donors to defray the cost of production, supporters who have volunteered their yards, and a message: "No Incoming Haz Mats."

Heather Graf is a resident of Norton and member of the Citizens Advisory Shpack Team.

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