Addressing Contaminated Sites in RI

Terrence Gray, P.E. Deputy Director for Environmental Protection, RI DEM

The Superfund
The federal foundation of the clean up programs

  • National Priorities List: 12 sites in Rhode Island listed
  • Sites Under Assessment:136 sites currently actively being assessed, 324 sites have been considered under the Superfund

Other Clean Up Programs

  • Federal Facilities (about 100 sites)
  • RCRA Corrective Action (2-3 sites)
  • Leaking Underground Tanks (about 300 active sites)
  • State Site Remediation Program (about 300 active sites)
  • Brownfields Program (about 75 active sites)
  • Proactive Assessments And Clean Ups: ready for reuse
  • Reactive: independent proposals for clean up and redevelopment

Goals For Site Clean Up

  • Contaminated sites
  • Properties found to have levels above standards that are being addressed under State authority


The Program Goal is to mitigate risk from contamination.
There are 2 risk scenarios.

  • Scenario 1: residential (unrestricted)
  • Scenario 2: commercial/industrial


The Decision-Making Process on remediation projects is based on the conceptual site model.

  • Nature of contamination
  • Fate and transport
  • Exposure pathways and receptors

Key Policy Issues

  • Quality of site investigations
  • Time for review and response
  • Facilitating effective community involvement

Some Key Technical Issues

  • Vapor intrusion
  • Assessing and managing sediments
  • Addressing contaminated structures & demolition
  • Protective standards for sensitive reuse scenarios
  • Schools
  • Recreation facilities

Superfund Research At Brown
Matching expertise and need-key linkages:

  • Core connections: Research Translation, Community Outreach, Analytical
  • Key research connections: understanding and controlling risks from mixed dust
  • Management strategies for mercury, hexavalent chromium and other metals contamination
  • Understanding and controlling risks from vapors generated from chemical mixtures, particularly MGP

Providence Pier: hotel, condos, a marina and an 800-car parking garage
[former oil terminal with MGP wastes]

Stone Harbour Condominiums
[former Premier Thread plant, MGP wastes under site extending into harbor]

YMCA And Adelaide Avenue School
[contaminated sites with solid waste fill, landfill gas and dust issues]

Tiverton MGP: 100 residential properties
[MGP wastes used as fill]

Rhode Island Department Of Environmental Management (RIDEM):

Rhode Island Department Of Health, Programs And Services:

Rhode Island Department Of Health, Office Of Environmental Risk Assessment:

Terrence Gray, P.E. [email protected]
Assistant Director For Air, Waste And Compliance For The Rhode Island Department Of Environmental Management
235 Promenade Street
Providence, RI 02908-5767
Co-Director of Core B, Research Translation Core