The Birch Swamp Road Site (the Site) is located in Warren, Rhode Island, off of an unnamed, unpaved access road that runs east-to-west, intersecting Birch Swamp Road to the west.
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The Site was first identified by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) in the 1980s as an unlicensed junkyard. At that time, RIDEM personnel observed miscellaneous electronic equipment on-site, including electrical transformers that likely contained oils contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Local officials interviewed by EPA recalled the presence of military equipment at the Site, including old airplane fuselages and other equipment that may have also contained PCBs.
In March 2006 RIDEM requested EPA's assistance in investigating the Birch Swamp Road Site.
EPA conducted environmental investigations at the Site in July 2007 and on adjacent properties in April 2008. Sampling results indicated elevated levels of heavy metals (including lead) and PCBs to be present in surface soils at the Site, exceeding RIDEM's residential cleanup criteria. The Site consists mainly of an open grassy field on a privately owned parcel, and extends onto a small portion of an adjacent parcel.
The current EPA fund-lead cleanup is addressing the lead and PCB contamination present in the surface soils.