The Town-owned property at 13 Watrous Street was one of the sites where soil and groundwater samples were collected as part of the initial Townwide Assessment Project. Data obtained at that time indicated that several types of contaminants were present in the soil and groundwater including chlorinated solvents, which are typical of metal parts degreasers, oils, heavy metals, and relatively low levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
The town subsequently applied for and received an EPA Brownfields Cleanup Grant of $200,000 to remediate the identified soil contamination. An initial phase of this work included the collection and analysis of additional soil samples in order to focus remedial efforts. Preliminary results revealed a more significant and widespread occurrence of PCB impacted soils than was previously identified.
The EHBRDA worked closely with personnel from EPA Region I to formulate an approach that would maximize the removal of contaminated soil with available grant funding while maintaining compliance with strict Federal regulations pertaining to PCB cleanups. Project specifications were developed by the BRDA and the project was put out for competitive bidding in August 2010. A contract for site work was awarded in October and, after submittal of appropriate health and safety documentation, site work began in early November.
Interim Remedial Measures were completed in December 2010. Approximately 320 tons of PCB contaminated soil was removed along with several containers of waste oil from inside the building and four oil storage tanks. The remediation also included backfilling and re-grading the southern portion of the property and the installation of a chain-link fence to secure the site and limit potential exposure to remaining areas of soil contamination that could not be cleaned up with the limited available funding.
In 2015, the Town of East Hampton applied for and was awarded a Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP) grant to move forward with redevelopment goals for the property. The grant is being used to implement the Town’s plan to remove blight, improve public safety and improve public access to the Village Center. In the Fall of 2016, the abatement of lead, asbestos in the building structures is planned to take place, followed by the demolition of the building. Future plans include design and development of public parking and associated drainage systems.