Public meeting to take place on toxic waste in Dartmouth neighborhood
By: Amanda Pitts
DARTMOUTH, Mass. (WLNE) - The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection will be holding a public meeting next week regarding the investigation into toxic waste in the Bliss Corner neighborhood of Dartmouth.
Residents are voicing their concerns ahead of that meeting, worried about who will be footing the bill if their properties are found to contain chemicals.
Last year, soil testing found PCB's and other contaminants on lots under construction on McCabe and Kraseman Streets.
The DEP believes dumping dating back to the 1930s could be to blame.
Cezaltina Cordeiro has lived directly across the street from the contaminated area since the 1950s. She said the area is known to have a foul smell.
"It was a terrible smell and you could get it just as you came around from Stackhouse to come up to McCabe street."
That's what brought the state out to investigate last year.
Leaky containers full of oily liquids and discolored soil containing hazardous material was found on the properties.
Cordeiro says the plot was a playground many years ago for neighborhood children along with her son, Michael.
"We played on the dirt, in the dirt, you know, that's what kids did back then. In the soil were bottles, pieces of coal and so forth," said Michael Cordeiro.
He thinks the problem is bigger than people think.
"Unfortunately I do think it's gonna be more widespread once they start testing the area."
The department is trying to figure out who is responsible and is coming up with a plan to get rid of the chemicals.
But the Cordeiro's are worried residents like themselves will have to pay for the cleanup if their properties are contaminated too.
"This being my mother's house and her being 90, I don't see her ability to put tens of thousands of dollars, possibly tens of thousands of dollars, to have top soil moved and new soil put down and so forth," said Michael Cordeiro.
The DEP has posted a FAQ sheet for residents with questions on the waste.
The public meeting is set for March 21 at 6 p.m. at Dartmouth High School.
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