Thursday, October 9, 2014

300-350 Irving Street: a continuing contaminated site. Is everyone looking the other way?

Information provided by Howard Garshman


From 1880-1967, Northeast Utilities operated a Manufactured Gas Plant on the Irving Street Property.

From 1967–1982, the plant apparently was demolished and the property was mostly paved to resemble a parking lot.

In 1982, a private individual, Mr. John Glynn (deceased), purchased the property for a symbolic $1,000.00 at which time he deeded the parcel to the 350 Irving Street Trust.

In 2004, having not paid the taxes on the property and accumulating nearly $2M in arrears on the property, the Town of Framingham publicly avowed the property was hazardous and not a property the town wanted to own for taxes, began negotiations with 350 Irving Street, LLC a company formed by the owner of the major tenant on the property. These negotiations were for 350 Irving Street, LLC to obtain the property via a tax abatement scheme in return to remediate the property under a Brownfields Authority.   

"300 Irving Street" an almost 19 acre parcel owned by Northeast Utilities (NStar).
Yellow line indicates the MWRA Sudbury Aqueduct dividing the property.
In 2007 after 3 years of negotiating with the town and after garnering the approval of the scheme by the town, the town fathers, only moments before signing the papers, Northeast Utilities for yet unknown reasons, came forward and offered to purchase the property they had sold 26 years earlier for $1,000.00 , Northeast Utilities offered The Town of Framingham a cash payment of $2M as part of the offer Northeast Utilities agreed to appease 350 Irving Street, LLC by partnering with 350 Irving Street, LLC to manage the property, then develop the property once Northeast Utilities remediated the property, at Northeast’s expense hopefully by 2010.
Aerial view of Landscape Depot (from Google Maps 2007)

Stone and debris in work area on top of MWRA Aqueduct land. The runoff from the upper undocumented
materials, mulch and salt chemicals drain from on top of the property runs through the
covered materials and leaches into the ground and MWRA wet property.
The town accepted Northeast’s proposal as presented, subject to approval by the Attorney General’s approval, according to town records the town did so based on their ability to oversee the remediation, the increase of debt returned to town coffers and Northeast agreeing to appease 350 Irving Street, LLC by making 350 Irving Street, LLC the manager and a partners in the future development.
In 2008, the approvals were obtained and Northeast Utilities paid the $2M in August 2008, as of this summary the property is in use, yet neither the Brownfields remediation or the development have taken place.

At this time, the extraordinarily hazardous property is in use daily by various tenants, one tenant in particular is operating numerous unpermitted, unlicensed unmonitored operations that are causing hazmat releases, adding hazmat to the property as well 247 River Road West, Berlin, poising the unsuspecting public. All with knowledge and approval of Northeast Utilities.

Landscape Depot is a tenant of Northeast Utilities. The landscape company is operating without oversight, licensing, permits or any required authority from numerous Framingham departments. There are no approvals, required permits or licenses from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and other state departments.

The mountainous mulch piles on the property tend to ignite and smolder, sometimes for days, causing smoke to cover the surrounding area. This smoke is unmonitored for air quality and toxins, our understanding is that many of the toxins found on the property and in the wood and demolitions debris should be detectable in the smoke, smoke that residents are breathing.
Upper right near loading dock are concrete, stone pavement bricks dumped for recycling.

Prior to 1967, Northeast Utilities hired private contractors to remove the extraordinarily hazardous (EPA) Coal Tar, Coal Tar Creosote, Cyanide and Arsenic from the Manufactured Gas Plant furnaces and bury it off site in the Framingham area. One very close site is on 21 Beaver Court and Beaver Street, which abuts the now closed for environmental hazardous NEW Mary Dennison Municipal Park.

It was discovered that the un-remediated property is sitting on natural peat (a natural dry source historically used as heating and fire source). The property has lagoons full of Coal Tar, Cyanide, and Spent Oxide. To date only a small wetlands area has been addressed by Northeast Utilities and that was to keep Cyanide from continuing its migration into the wetlands. In other words, Northeast is keeping the Cyanide on the property that they are renting out and the flammable hazardous coal tar and benzene materials are sitting on a giant wick!

Piles of wood and debris, trees stumps stockpiled for grinding into EnviroMulch, close-up of concrete and brick debris.
Commercial Landscaper dumping grass and leaves. Note large illegal stump dump in background. Stumps will be made into EnviroMulch, all sitting on contaminated soil, and in contaminated ground and surface water.
Other business on land leased by Landscape Depot.
Other business on parcel.
Perdoni Brothers trucks in large amounts of undocumented soil and dirt that is mixed onsite and sold as loam and organic compost.
Other business on parcel.
Click on photo to enlarge