Sunday, April 10, 2005

 Correction — May 24, 2008 This article refers to the “US Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)”, though the term “Department of Environmental Protection” actually refers to state agencies, and in this case refers to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, not a United States federal agency. 

The Cambridge city council adopted a resolution on April 4 to request that the US Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) “take explicit account” of the activities of local construction firm W. R. Grace, which has previously contaminated an industrial area near the Alewife train station with asbestos. The council cited Grace’s “extraordinarily extensive and well-documented history of contaminating sites and concealing the contamination” as the reason for its request.

The resolution was a reaction to a Response Action Outcome Statement and Risk Characterization (RAO) that W. R. Grace filed with the DEP. The Cambridge Chronicle recently took the filing as evidence that “the state seems poised to stop watching over” the contaminated site.

In February, W.R. Grace was indicted by a federal grand jury for contamination as a product of vermiculite mining operations in Libby, Montana, USA. The company was also charged with “concealing information about the health affects [sic] of its asbestos mining operations.”

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