Senator Timilty and Representatives Garlick and Winslow wrote a joint letter yesterday to DCAM, asking that DCAM withdraw its request to the Army Corps to do work in and near the river, and rather to explore the solution the town has sought. A copy of their letter can be accessed via this link
The Trust has rescheduled the Civil War Walking Tour for:
Saturday, October 15th, from 10:00am to 1:00pm
|Captain Richard Crowninshield Derby
[1834 – 1862]
This Tour will still include visits to 24 gravesites of the 53 Civil War veterans interred in the Old Section. As well, we’ll welcome the commander, a color guard and a drummer, and civilian reenactors from the 28th Massachusetts Voluntary Infantry Regiment.
This is the first in a series of Walking Tours at Vine Lake Cemetery to commemorate our nation’s 150th anniversary of the Civil War.
You will enjoy this one-a-kind event. Read more about the October 15th event in the next newsletter. For now, please schedule the Tour on your calendar. You’ll be glad you did!
I suggest that those who have not done so sign up for the Trust’s monthly e-newsletter at http://www.vinelakepreservationtrust.org/about%20vine%20lake%20cemetery.html
Update: Army Corps of Engineers still undecided about DCAM permit to
remediate former Medfield State Hospital toxic waste
By Brett M. Rhyne
Wicked Local Medfield
Posted Sep 26, 2011 @ 05:51 PM
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has not yet acted upon the permit application filed with it by the state’s Division of
Capital Asset Management regarding the planned remediation of oil and toxic waste at the former Medfield State Hospital site.
Karen Kirk Adams, chief of the permits and enforcement branch of the New England District of the corps, told the Press that not only
has the permit been neither approved nor denied yet, she could not even estimate when action might be taken on it.
The delay, she said, is due to “clarification on the project” that the corps is seeking from DCAM and the Massachusetts
Department of Environmental Protection, which is mandating DCAM’s actions.
The need for clarifications arose, she said, when the corps met with Medfield’s Board of Selectmen and a number of other Medfield
residents concerned about the remediation on Sept. 19.
A DCAM representative “had been informed of, if not invited to, the meeting,” said board Chairman Osler Peterson. He said the town
had “left it up to the Army Corps of Engineers to invite whomever they wanted from DEP.”
At the meeting, Medfield town officials made their case to the corps that it ought to deny DCAM’s permit application. The agency is
seeking to permission to remediate oil found in the Charles River near the site, and to remediate toxic waste in the soil on the
The state’s plan for the oil is to cover the riverbed with a clay cap this fall, thus preventing any more oil from entering the river water,
and to vacuum-dredge the riverbed clean of all soil with oil in it in the fall of 2012.
The town would like DCAM to complete the remediation this fall, in one step rather than two.
The state’s plan for the toxic soil on the riverbank is to remove about a quarter of it, slope the bank, cover what’s left with a nonporous
sheeting, and pin that sheeting down with rip-rap, a gravellike material commonly seen under bridges.
The town would like DCAM to remove all the toxic soil — Medfield has even offered land elsewhere on the site for a modern, hygienic
toxic waste dump — and which would then allow the riverbank to be used by the public or returned to its natural state.
As a result of meeting with Medfield town officials last week, the corps is now seeking clarification of the state’s plan to remediate
both areas, Adams said.
Regarding the riverbed, the corps would like to know if DCAM intends to remove the clay cap at some point in the future, she said.
If the state intends to vacuum-dredge the riverbed next year, then the cap will certainly be removed, Adams said. But DCAM’s permit
application does not mention any work beyond capping the oil, she said.
“People can’t apply for permits piecemeal,” she said. The corps’ concern is that if the scope of all the intended work taken together
crosses a certain threshold, a more rigorous review process becomes necessary, Adams said.
Regarding the riverbank, the corps would like to know more about proposed bio-engineered solutions to keeping the toxic waste in
place, she said. At last week’s meeting, Adams made it clear that a bio-engineered solution was preferable to rip-rap because it would
have less impact on the environment.
The corps is currently talking with DCAM and MassDEP to clarify both points.
Also at the meeting was Rep. Stephen Lynch, who voiced strong support for the town’s concerns. In a Sept. 23 letter to DCAM
Commissioner Carol Cornelison, he wrote the state’s “current remediation plan is being implemented in an [sic] short-sighted,
fractional manner that will not result in a permanent solution that protects the nearby well water and the long term health of the
residents of Medfield and the surrounding communities.”
In the letter, he urged the state to withdraw its current permit application “in order to thoroughly consider all permanent
Rep. Lynch writes to Massachusetts in support of Medfield’s position
Contact Medfield Press editor Brett M. Rhyne at 781-433-8353 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright 2011 The Taunton Gazette. Some rights reserved
New Medfield Press editor, Brett Rhyne, writes yesterday that as the result of the Army Corps of Engineers meeting last week with the Medfield Board of Selectmen that the ACE has unanswered questions at the moment that have held up its approval of DCAM’s work in and next to the Charles River. Mr. Rhyne also posted the letter sent by Congressman Lynch to DCAM, which asks DCAM to withdraw it permit application to work out resolution in cooperation with the town of what work should be performed.
Last night was the initial meeting of the committee formed to review and revise both the town’s charter and its bylaws. Anyone with ideas on what can be done differently and/or better with the town government should watch for notice of the hearings they will hold.
Some ideas –
- how many selectmen, 3 or 5?
- appoint or elect town clerk?
- move town meeting date away from the school spring vacation?
Medfield received $64,386.90 from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) today, per Mike Sullivan. It represents reimbursement of 75% of eligible costs for the winter snowstorm. We have not heard yet whether Norfolk County qualifies for reimbursement for tropical storm Irene. The money to fund FEMA is being held up by a fight in Congress over how to fund it, so we probably won’t hear for some time.
Donna Cimeno and Joy Ricciuto put a lot of time into this and did a great job in gathering the required information, per Mike. Kudos and thanks to Donna and Joy!
Email from Mike Sullivan today to a resident asking for spraying –
I did speak at length Thursday night with John Smith, who is head of Norfolk
County Mosquito control. He advised me that Medfield is consider at low risk
for EEE or Nile virus, on the state Dept of Health web site map. I’ll forward the email I received from him so you can check it out. He also told me that although they could spray, It wouldn’t do any good this time of year as the nights are too cool, so the spraying wouldn’t be effective. The mosquito that tested positive in Sherborn was a type of mosquito that bites birds, but not humans. When Norfolk County does their weekly testing, they will sample for the type of mosquito that bites humans. So far, the nearest place where that type of mosquito has been infected is in Sharon. There have found a bird biting mosquito in Medway that was infected, but not a human biting mosquito They are closely monitoring the situation and will advise our Board of Health or any change in test results. In the meantime, Mr. Smith advises that the most effective protective measures to prevent infection this late in the season are to wear long sleeve shirts and pants, to put insecticides on exposed areas and to the extent possible to avoid going out in heavily wooded areas from dusk to dawn. Keep in mind that Medfield is still considered a low-risk area for infection. Also, Mr. Smith pointed out that the reason for the increase in the number of mosquitos recently is the increase in the water levels in the Charles River caused by the heavy rains from tropical storm Irene. The Charles River is slow to rise
and slow to fall, so the high water levels will continue for some time. Over the years the Norfolk County Mosquito Control has be very effective in monitoring mosquito populations and in preventing the spread of disease. I think the best course of action at this time is to follow their recommendations. Mike Sullivan