Wareham Selectmen OK spending $80,000 to study pollution at Tremont Nail

Oct 11, 2017

The Masschusetts Department of Environmental Protection is requiring town officials to dig deeper regarding pollution in the Tremont Nail Factory District.

On Tuesday, Selectmen authorized spending $80,000 for “Phase II Comprehensive Site Assessment” in the district, located on a 7.2-acre site on Elm Street. The area is home to several historic buildings that once belonged to the Tremont Nail Company, which built nails onsite for nearly 100 years.

The town of Wareham bought the property in 2004. In recent years, progress has been made in transforming the site into a destination, complete with shops, event space and perhaps housing. This summer, a car show was held in the district and in August a gala held there served as an open house for the property.

While redevelopment appears to be on the horizon, soil and groundwater was found to be contaminated with oil and other hazardous materials in 2016, according to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

Petroleum compounds, heavy metals, zinc and other materials were found at levels that exceed those set by the Massachusetts Oil and Hazardous Release Prevention Response Act.

As a result, further testing is required. The $80,000 came from funds that belonged to the now defunct Economic Development Industrial Corporation (EDIC), the predecessor to the town’s Community and Economic Development Authority (CEDA), which formed in 2004. At that time, funds from EDIC – generated through the sale of property – were transferred to CEDA.

Selectmen Chair Peter Teitelbaum said this next round of testing will provide a clearer picture of pollution levels at the site.

“It will better delineate the extent of the contamination uncovered in the initial investigation,” he said.