EPA Prepares for Upcoming Work at Stamina Mills Site

BOSTON – EPA and R.I. Dept. of Environmental Management (RIDEM) expect to begin
field work on Monday, August 1, 2016, to decommission and remove above-ground piping
that is part of an inoperable soil vapor extraction (SVE) system at the Stamina
Mills Superfund Site in North Smithfield, R.I. This project is expected to take
about 2-3 weeks to complete.


During that time, residents can expect to see frequent presence of field workers and
an increase of activity on the Site. Activities will include mobilizing, staging of
equipment, and removal of the piping and axillary infrastructure that are part of
the SVE system.


The SVE system has been inoperable for several years. Originally, it was designed to
extract vapors from contaminated soil to reduce contamination. It was also modified
to extract water in addition to vapors to aid the cleanup of contaminated soil and
groundwater within the former trichloroethylene (TCE) spill area.


EPA and RIDEM have determined that the vapor extraction system has achieved its
goals and is no longer effective. The removal of the SVE system components was
approved in June 2016. Pumping and treatment of the TCE-contaminated groundwater
from four large on-site extraction wells will continue for the foreseeable future.


As has been reminded by the North Smithfield Water and Sewer Department, the
residents in the Stamina Mills Groundwater Remediation District ordinance zone
cannot use wells for any reasons, as any such pumping can spread contamination and
adversely affect the cleanup at the Site. Residences within the Ordinance zone which
have been impacted by the spill have been connected to the Town water supply.


The 5-acre Stamina Mills, Inc. Superfund Site is located in North Smithfield, Rhode
Island. A textile mill began operation at the Site in the early 1900s. In 1969, a
solvent scouring system that used TCE to remove oil and dirt from newly woven fabric
was installed. That same year, an unknown quantity of TCE was spilled at the site.
In 1975, the mill closed down. In 1977, a fire destroyed the manufacturing complex;
the site has been vacant and unused since then.


More information: Technical documents related to the site’s cleanup are available
at:  https://cumulis.epa.gov/supercpad/cursites/csitinfo.cfm?id=0101291 or at the
North Smithfield Public Library.