The Woonasquatucket River along the CMRP source area
By Lee E. Carbonneau
Bedford, NH, Office
For the last two years, Normandeau scientists have been part of a team conducting pre-design investigations at the Centredale Manor Restoration Superfund Project site in North Providence and Johnston, Rhode Island. The site is located on the Woonasquatucket River, home of industrial activities since the 1800s, including chemical production and drum reconditioning from the 1940s to the 1970s. Soil, sediment, surface water, and biota in the Woonasquatucket River and floodplains are contaminated with dioxin, PCBs, and other contaminants. Normandeau first conducted surveys at this site as part of the remedial investigation back in 2001 and 2002—sampling fisheries, benthic, and emergent aquatic insects; floodplain soil invertebrates; and ichthyoplankton. After decades of study, negotiation, and planning, this Superfund Site is now being remediated. The Record of Decision prescribes excavation of contaminated soil and sediment above clean-up levels up to the limits of the 100-year floodplain and placement of cover materials. As part of the pre-design investigations, Normandeau is again providing sampling at this site, as well as assessment and mitigation design assistance to our client, Integral Consulting Inc.
Normandeau and Integral staff with flow sampling equipment in one of the ponds fringed with water willow (Decodon verticillatus)
Under the direction of Lee Carbonneau, Normandeau’s OSHA-HAZWOPPER certified scientists have delineated and assessed wetlands, surveyed floodplain and aquatic plants, collected fish and macroinvertebrates for community assessment, collected fish for tissue analysis, and assisted with the deployment and collection of water quality and hydraulic instruments. Our intrepid scientists and boat captains were met with several challenges: tangles of green briar, poison ivy, hornet nests, deep muck, shallow water obstructions, locked gates, boat access issues, vandalized wells, and shifting schedules. The team’s in-depth investigative field work was then followed by analyzing reams of data forms, preparing and aging eel otoliths, sorting and identifying benthic samples, crunching IBI (Index of Biotic Integrity) data, and writing technical reports.
EPA/Stakeholder site walk through the CMRP floodplain forest
The Normandeau findings are critical to remediation and habitat mitigation design. We meet regularly with the remedial design team, agencies, and stakeholders as construction takes place from the source area to downstream ponds, wetlands, streams, and floodplain habitats.
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