EPA has begun an effort to remove hazardous materials from a former furniture mill, Country Home Furnishings, in Gardner, Mass.
The former Country Home Furnishings building has been vacant since 2000, and signs of trespassing are obvious on the property. Due to hazardous material inside the building, the property has been deemed unsafe (materials include asbestos, hazardous waste, and flammable materials).
EPA has initiated an action to remove hazardous material from the building and property. The building will be carefully demolished in order to safely remove the hazardous materials. Air monitoring of the site is in place in the abutting area to ensure that contaminants are not migrating off site and presenting issues of health threat to neighboring residents. The removal effort has a budget of $600,000 and is expected to take approximately four months.
The company operated in Gardner for many years, milling, assembling and finishing furniture on the site. After closing in 2000 the property remained vacant with a deteriorated building, posing numerous threats including flammability. Previously, in 1996, EPA conducted a removal action at the site, after finding 65 containers of flammable solvents, stains, lacquers, and lacquer dust in a wooden shed attached to the main building. The removed contents were safely shipped to a hazardous waste facility.
More information: EPA Emergency Response and Removal Program (http://epa.gov/region1/superfund/er/index.html)