News Flash

Town of Plainville

Posted on: April 10, 2023

BASF Updates Project Website

Your Source for Information on the BASF Plainville (Former Engelhard) Site Cleanup Project

Welcome! BASF has created this website to provide you with information about the cleanup of the former Engelhard manufacturing site on Taunton Street in Plainville. We understand your interest and want to make sure you have access to information about the project.


The site has been undergoing environmental remediation under a 1993 Consent Order with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), with additional remediation of radiological constituents under the Massachusetts Department of Health (DPH), as delegated under the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.


The USEPA mandates corrective action for facilities that treat, store or dispose of hazardous waste, or did so in the past—such as the former Engelhard facility. Accordingly, a Risk Based Disposal Plan was performed at and around the site to develop corrective action alternative(s) and recommend the corrective measures to be taken.


Remedial Investigation of the site showed metals, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in on-site and off-site soil, groundwater and sediments. Low-level uranium contamination in soil and a small (30 cubic yards) portion of sediments immediately adjacent to the Turnpike Lake shoreline were addressed in a separate Decommissioning Work Plan approved by the Massachusetts DPH Radiation Control Program.


In a later investigation, very low-level concentrations of radiological material, high biological demand fluids, heavy metals and chlorinated solvent-contaminated sludge were identified in a former on-site septic system, which has since been removed.


Approval of Work Plans for different parts of the cleanup project is granted primarily by the USEPA, which develops regulations, guidance and policies that ensure the safe management and cleanup of solid and hazardous waste. In Massachusetts, guidance and regulation of cleanup projects is also provided by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Public Health.


Environmental remediation, or cleanup, is a complex, highly regulated process, involving recurring scientific testing, and specialized engineering, planning and work. In the case of the former Engelhard site, it includes a Risk Based Disposal Plan, Remedial Investigations calling for sampling of air, soils, and water; Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessments (on-site and off-site); and related reporting, among other activities. On the pages of this website, BASF has tried to summarize information about the history and cleanup of the former Engelhard site in a way that is informative, yet easy to read and understand. For more detailed information, please click on the video link to the right.

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