Shrewsbury – Shrewsbury Fire Chief James Vuona released this statement regarding the cleanup efforts at 396 Oak St.:
There were numerous containers of chemicals stored in an 8 foot x 21 foot shed on the property. Unfortunately, a demolition company tore down the shed without checking the contents to determine what might be stored inside. This resulted in a wide variety of chemicals, substances and containers being either buried or strewn about the property. Many of the substances are considered dangerous and/or toxic. Others have energetic or flammable properties and must be handled carefully. Fortunately, nearly all of the substances are in small quantities and many have been removed from the ground while still in their containers/bottles.
There is a professional clean up company, New England Disposal Technology (NEDT) working on site to remove all of the substances and any soil that may have been contaminated as well. They are working under the supervision of the Shrewsbury Fire Department and Mass. Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The clean-up process is a very slow and tedious operation performed by trained experts with highly specialized equipment. There are also police, fire and ambulance personnel on the property for safety and security purposes.
Air quality is being monitored on a daily basis and has been determined to be safe at this time. There are no health concerns for citizens living within close proximity to the work site. The water table and wetlands have been protected as well. The cleanup could continue for another week or so.
Recently, there were small quantities of flammable solids that were found and can ignite if heated or disturbed. The Hazmat suits being used are to protect the workers from inhaling fumes while working in close proximity to the product. Please be reminded it is a slow process to protect both the environment and safety of the workers.