Davol Square Property Flunks Contamination Test

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This sign is in reference to a property at 66, 70, and 80 South St., 218 Chestnut St., and 345 and 349 Richmond St. in Providence. (Frank Carini/ecoRI News)

This sign is in reference to a property at 66, 70, and 80 South St., 218 Chestnut St., and 345 and 349 Richmond St. in Providence. (Frank Carini/ecoRI News)

By ecoRI News staff

PROVIDENCE — Recent soil and groundwater testing at a half-acre asphalted site in Davol Square, not far from the Manchester Street Power Station, that houses a two-story industrial building found metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons at concentrations above Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management’s allowable limits.

To address the regulatory exceedances in the state agency’s Industrial/Commercial Direct Exposure Criteria, it was proposed, and DEM accepted, the following remedial actions: the existing engineered controls, the onsite building and paved parking lots, will function as a cap and continue to prevent direct exposure to underlying soils; and an environmental land usage restriction and an associated soils management plan will be placed on the property that will limit future use to industrial/commercial activities, prohibit the use of groundwater at the site for drinking water, and assure impacted soils remain onsite and/or are properly managed/capped.

South Richmond Realty LLC, which owns the property, hired engineering firm GZA to assess the environmental quality of the property.

The earliest available city information indicates that the site was originally occupied with residential dwellings from the 1890s to the 1940s, according to an environmental fact sheet GZA produced for the property. By the ’50s, the site was occupied by a jewelry manufacturer and an electronics repair shop. From the ’70s through 2010s, the site was occupied by a metals plating facility. The surrounding area was also heavily developed with industrial/manufacturing facilities throughout the 20th century.

The building and parking lots will remain onsite and property’s use will remain commercial for the foreseeable future, according to GZA.

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