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North Smithfield, R.I. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has completed a hazardous waste cleanup at the Stamina Mills Removal Site, located on School Street in North Smithfield, Rhode Island. This parcel is one piece of the Stamina Mills Superfund Site, which has undergone a larger ongoing cleanup and redevelopment project.

The focus of the completed clean-up was on the former Mill Office Building, located within the Stamina Mills Superfund Site. The building, which was known to have asbestos containing material (ACM), was in a state of disrepair and had been deemed unsafe to enter. After part of the roof collapsed into the structure, there was an increased likelihood that asbestos fibers could be released into the environment. This immediate threat to public health led to EPA’s cleanup of the site which began last fall.

“EPA’s work at the Stamina Mills Office Building helped to protect people, nearby homes and businesses by eliminating risks posed by asbestos that was contained in the building which could have become airborne,” said EPA New England Acting Regional Administrator Deborah Szaro. “This successful project is a testament to our effective collaboration with our partners at RIDEM and the R.I. Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission.”

To address the continued release of asbestos into the environment, EPA demolished the former Mill Office Building. The clean-up actions included: removing trees, vegetation, and debris; razing the building; transporting and disposing of ACM building debris to an EPA-approved off-site disposal facility, and backfilling excavated areas. During EPA’s remediation activity, protective measures were taken to control dust, conduct air monitoring, and to prevent runoff of water used during the remediation from impacting nearby residential and commercial properties and the nearby Branch River.

Before the building was demolished, EPA worked in partnership with the Rhode Island Preservation and Heritage Commission to document and preserve the historical aspects of the building.

“Slatersville is America’s first planned Industrialized Mill Village and is recognized on the National Historic Register. Residents, businesses, and tourists traveling to Slatersville were visually assaulted by the remnants of the dilapidated and dangerous site that was once a viable economic engine known as Stamina Mill. The Town of North Smithfield wishes to recognize the expediency, thoroughness, and professionalism that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) exhibited throughout the mitigation process of this hazardous site. North Smithfield would also like to thank the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) for working in conjunction with EPA to ensure the safety of all motorists entering and traveling through Slatersville, during this time,” said North Smithfield Town Administrator Paul Zwolenski.

“Partnerships drive effective government responses, and our strong partnership with EPA led to this successful outcome,” said Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Acting Director Terry Gray. “At the local level, the Town of North Smithfield had major concerns about the safety of the building abandoned at the Stamina Mills Superfund site. EPA stepped up and did the hard work of demolishing, decontaminating, and cleaning up this blighted property, thus removing the unsafe conditions in the community.”

Background

The Stamina Mills, Inc. Superfund Site is located in North Smithfield, Rhode Island. A textile mill began operation at the Site in the early 1900s. In 1969, a solvent scouring system that used trichloroethylene (TCE) to remove oil and dirt from newly woven fabric was installed. That same year, an unknown quantity of TCE was spilled at the site. In 1975, the mill closed, and a fire destroyed the manufacturing complex in 1977, leaving it vacant and unused. The former Mill Office Building, which was connected to the complex via a bridge, was not impacted by the fire and remained as the only original mill building.

More information on EPA’s cleanup activity at the Stamina Mills Superfund Site and ongoing site monitoring: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/stamina

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Author: Editor
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