Rail Line Arsenic Cleanup and Bike Path

March 13, 2014
tjstevenson@ambient-engineering.com

An out of service MBTA rail line ran through the Towns of Malden, Everett and Revere. A portion of the line in Everett was contaminated by the historic shipping and manufacture of arsenic products for use as herbicide in the middle of the last century.

Contaminated Site

Contaminated Site

Very high levels of arsenic were present in shallow soil. The area was fenced off from the public for a number of years to eliminate exposure potential. Ultimately, Ambient Engineering created a detailed mapping of the locations impacted by high arsenic. The highest levels of arsenic were excavated and removed by Ambient to a secure facility out of state. Clean fill was brought in to restore the original contours of the site. Due to the presence of an underground high pressure gas pipeline, it was not feasible to remove all soil containing arsenic.

Remediated Site

Remediated Site

In 2013 Ambient further treated the entire Site by covering it to a depth of up to two feet with clean stone, formerly used as railroad ballast and which was supplied by MBTA. The nature of this cap is such that it prevents all contact with any underlying soils which may still contain elevated levels of arsenic. Finally the rail right of way was paved by the City of Everett as a “Rail-Trail” which is currently in use by the public for running, walking and biking.