Mass. -- Wellesley College announced today its cleanup plans
for the site of the former Henry Wood's Sons paint factory.
The plan, selected after a thorough evaluation of remediation
alternatives, has been approved by the Massachusetts
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), which
has legal jurisdiction over the site.
safety of Wellesley College students, faculty, staff and
visitors - and our neighbors - is our cardinal priority,"
said Diana Chapman Walsh, president of Wellesley College.
"The cleanup plan we have chosen will protect human health
and the environment and enable the College to reclaim this
damaged ecosystem for generations to come."
site is located on the western border of the campus, south
of Route 135. It was acquired by the College in 1932 and
maintained as open space. In the mid-1970s, with the advent
of regulatory policies and greater environmental awareness,
DEP notified the College that it had identified soils contaminated
with paint pigments on and around the site of the former
factory (which began operations in 1848 and continued for
nearly 80 years). Since then, the College and DEP have been
working together on site investigation and remediation actions,
which have included the analysis of more than 4,000 soil,
sediment, surface water and groundwater samples, and removal
of more than 4,000 tons of contaminated material.
College's cleanup sequence is expected to involve:
Excavating an estimated 136,000 cubic yards of contaminated
soils and sediment from the former factory site, sediment
from Paintshop Pond and Upper Waban Brook and peat from
the surrounding wetlands;
Treating about 20,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil,
using chemical reducing agents;
Creating an area of clean soil (referred to as a "clean
pad") in the existing northern wetland, at an elevation
above the water table;
Consolidating the excavated soils and sediment on top of
the clean pad; and then
Capping the consolidated soils and sediments within a permanent
protective cover called an "engineered barrier," consisting
of several layers of clean soil and synthetic materials.
project is expected to begin in the spring of 2001 and take
approximately 14 months to complete. Initial steps to prepare
the site will include the removal of trees and other vegetation
from 30 on-campus acres south of Route 135 and east of Paintshop
Pond. This will enable crews access to the contaminated
areas and to clean soils needed for use in the clean pad
and engineered barrier. Throughout the site preparation
and cleanup, the College and its contractors will install
fencing and post signs around the work site, install air
monitoring equipment, employ dust suppression methods and
ensure that cleanup activities are fully protective of the
health of workers and of the campus and area communities.
addition to eliminating the contamination problem - and
risks to human health and the environment - the cleanup
will result in the restoration and re-vegetation of the
southern wetland in its current location. Portions of the
northern wetland will be restored and re-vegetated in its
current location and new wetlands, larger than the existing
northern wetland, will be created. New recreation and athletic
fields also will be constructed. At the completion of the
cleanup, the College will install monitoring wells to ensure
groundwater quality. In addition, the existing walking path
around Lake Waban (portions of which will be closed during
the cleanup period) will be restored.
to Steve Johnson, project manager at DEP's Metropolitan
Boston-Northeast Regional Office, "DEP commends Wellesley
College for taking on the cleanup of Paintshop Pond and
adjacent areas that were contaminated by the former paint
factory. We have worked very closely with College officials
and their consultants on this cleanup plan, and we believe
that it will meet the requirements of the law while resulting
in a beneficial end-use for the College."
College has undertaken a number of public outreach efforts
as part of the ongoing cleanup, including hosting community
and campus information sessions and preparing a series of
fact sheets. Copies of the fact sheets and additional project
information are available on the Wellesley College web site,
A public information phone line has been set up to answer
calls about the project; the number is 781-283-2788.
Monahan, Assistant Vice President for Administration and
Community Affairs, summed up the College's efforts by noting,
"Throughout the cleanup effort, we look forward to continuing
the dialogue with our campus and area communities. We believe
that implementation of our cleanup plan will benefit the
College and our many neighbors who enjoy walking the woods
around Lake Waban."