2004 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: 10 Sep 2004 06:07:28 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Two Westford, MA perchlorate articles
Blasting may have contaminated town water

By Carrie Simmons
Westford Eagle (MA)
September 10, 2004

Officials from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection are getting closer to determining the source of the perchlorate contamination at the abandoned quarry west of North Street.

Although a conclusion has not been made regarding the source, Elaine Major, the Water Department's environmental analyst, told selectmen Tuesday that Maine Drilling and Blasting, the contractor hired by the Highway Department, used about 10,000 lbs. of a material that contained 20-30 percent perchlorate to blast for the new highway garage and access road.

Major said that amount is "fairly high" and that if even if 90 percent was absorbed or burned up in the blast, about 240 lbs. of perchlorate could have been released into the environment.

"When you are talking about measuring things in parts per billion, that is a lot," said Major.

There are no other potential sources at this point other than blasting agents, she said.

The last blast by the contractor occurred on Aug. 25, according to Sandy Collins, Westford's director of health care services, one day after a private well on Emily Way tested for perchlorate at 425 parts per billion and selectmen put a stop order on the blasting. Perchlorate was detected in the Nutting Road Water Treatment Plant on July 13 and in the Cote Well on July 16. A pond at an abandoned quarry tested at 819 parts per billion on Aug. 13.

for the entire article, see

Stony Brook undergoing water tests

By Carrie Simmons
Westford Eagle (MA)
September 10, 2004

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection is testing the Stony Brook to determine whether perchlorate contamination could be traveling from Westford to the Concord River, which flows into the Merrimack River, according to Ed Coletta, a spokesperson for the DEP.

The closest point of the Stony Brook is about 1 1/2 miles southeast of the contaminated pond west of North Street where a level of 819 parts per billion of perchlorate was detected.

Test results from Aug. 24 indicated a level of perchlorate at 3.47 parts per billion in the Concord River at the Route 133 bridge in Lowell, an area close to the confluence of the Concord and Merrimack rivers.

Tewksbury, which also has a perchlorate contamination problem, receives all of its water from the Merrimack River.

"What we did see was at least some numbers that were a little higher than we anticipated for the confluence of the Concord and the Merrimack," said Coletta.

Other areas along the Merrimack River showed no evidence of perchlorate, so DEP plans to take 15 to 20 additional samples up and down the Concord River, Coletta said.

for the entire article, see

Lenny Siegel
Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
c/o PSC, 278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918

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