MYSTIC RIVER WATERFRONT RESTORATION
WYNN RESORTS TO CLEANUP HAZARDOUS WASTE SITE ALONG THE MYSTIC RIVER
The Wynn Resorts 33 acre site is situated along the Mystic River in Everett next to the Gateway Mall.
The site was used by chemical manufacturing companies since the late 1800s, most notably Monsanto Chemical (1929-1983), which produced dyes and acids – primarily sulfuric acid. As was typical in early chemical manufacturing, leaks and spills of hazardous materials occurred, contaminating the soil, groundwater and sediment at the site. In the mid-1990s the site was used to store rock and tunnel muck from the construction of the Deer Island Sewage Treatment Plant. Testing from 1995 to 2013 identified contaminants including lead, arsenic and copper on the site, as well as an area of low pH in the groundwater. Contamination was found throughout the site, with three highly contaminated areas.
Wynn Resorts consultants have evaluated existing conditions on site including sampling and analysis of soils, sediments and groundwater. Based on that evaluation Wynn’s remediation team, under the direction of lead consultant GZA GeoEnvironmental, prepared a cleanup approach to be reviewed and approved by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection – Bureau of Waste Site Clean Up. Early stages of the clean up approach have been approved and site remediation began in fall 2015.
Wynn is expected to spend $30 million to restore the contaminated site to productive use. No public funds will be used for remediation.
Remediation efforts include in-situ solidification/stabilization, excavation of soil, placement of an uncontaminated soil cap and the removal of contaminated sediments. All remediation activities will be overseen by a Licensed Site Professional and must comply with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations.
BENEFITS OF THE CLEANUP TO THE MYSTIC RIVER
As a result of past industrial uses and remaining contamination, this site’s shoreline has been inaccessible and unusable to the public for more than 100 years and is leaching contaminants into the Mystic River daily. MyRWA believes that, properly completed, the cleanup will put this important riverfront property into productive use and will provide substantial benefit to Mystic River communities and to the river itself.
PLANS FOR THE FUTURE
Early in the public comment period, MyRWA recommended a revised approach to the shoreline – one that included restored saltmarsh and coastal bank restoration, expanded green space, and increased climate resiliency to the site. MyRWA is happy to report that the Wynn team has incorporated this suggestion to create a “living shoreline.” Wynn’s revision of its original plans provides great benefit to river ecology. This work will serve as a model for this type of tideland restoration throughout the Mystic River watershed.
Release Abatement Measure (RAM) Plan by GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc. (GZA), on behalf of Wynn MA, LLC, submitted to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup, August 18, 2015.
Shellfish beds, sulfur, and slot machines: The evolution of the Everett waterfront, The Boston Globe, Nov. 9, 2014