December 9th, 2008

about that superfund site

This might be a little confusing, so I'll summarize for people who don't read this journal logged in as an LJ friend. We're house shopping in Concord, MA and are researching a Superfund site there, a location formerly known as Starmet/Nuclear Metals Inc.

Here's a little information that shows up very high on google when you look for Starmet and Concord, MA.

R. did a bunch of research in an effort to find out Just What the Status of the Cleanup is. If I understand him correctly, this site is actually a lot worse than I thought it was, but they are a good ways along in cleaning it up. The short form is there is no way in hell we'd have bought near this place 5 years ago, but we're not willing to count it out currently.

There _was_ groundwater contamination, contrary to what I gathered from talking to the agent hosting the open house. In fact, there _is_ groundwater contamination, altho it does not appear to affect the location we are looking at. There is a slowmoving plume with some radioactivity; the solvents don't seem to be a major problem. The plume hasn't dropped down very far (it's in the overburden). Again, because it isn't right where we're looking and we'd be on town water, we think it's okay.

But just last year (2007) there was a fire, which is why people are pretty hot (heh) to get the buildings down and carted away to an appropriate low-level radioactive waste dump. Honestly, I have some real reservations about living near a place that made depleted uranium shells. As an aside, do you think some poor sap is stuck reading this blog now because I've posted about my snarky high school paper on terrorism and now I'm posting about depleted uranium? Sooooo suspicious.

Because the house is from 1965, I'm going to have to put a contingency in (if we ever make an offer) for lead inspection. There are a number of nearby houses on the street that were inspected and were in violation. Here's hoping the cosmetic reno addressed that problem ... but I'm a big believer in the verify part of trust and verify. Actually, I just don't trust people.

The government flood-risk-by-address page is still not working. Grrr.