Katjana Ballantyne President, Somerville Board of Aldermen Update:Conway Park Update 1.10.19

Dear community members,

We have a range of items to update you on this month.

Report Online:
First, the full report on the recent rounds of testing at Conway, officially called the Environmental Site Assessment Data Transmittal and Letter Report, is now complete and posted to the website. It’s more than 4,000 pages, but Part 1 is a seven-page communication from Weston & Sampson that gives clear information about testing, timing of testing, and test results. This summary should be helpful in explaining both the technical and environmental status of the project. If you prefer video, watching the recording of the recent public meeting, which is also on the Conway webpage, is another option. The presentation given that night, provides a clear summary of much of what is in the report. To view the report and the video, please visit http://www.somervillema.gov/conwayfield.

Work Progressing:
In other news, we continue to make every effort to move the process forward swiftly and responsibly. In December the Administration requested funds for the next phase of work by Weston & Sampson (W&S), and the Board of Aldermen approved the funding. Next steps cover a number of tasks including geophysical surveying, evaluation of remediation options, development of a cleanup plan, and conceptual design work for the field that will both inform and be informed by the remediation options. It also includes a public meeting to present the cleanup plan and further public outreach and support. In other words, W&S will help us keep you involved and in the loop. We’ll keep you posted on their progress on all fronts, including letting you know that geophysical surveying began this week.

Geophysical Surveying Underway:
Weston & Sampson subcontractor Hager Richter Geoscience was at the site today using three instruments to search for any possible source of underground contamination:

EM: Electromagnetic Induction – A higher-resolution magnetic resolution tool good to approximately 10 feet. GPR: Ground Penetrating Radar – Used to determine shapes of anything that is buried.
MAG: Low-level magnetic resolution tool good for deeper searches.
GPR: Ground Penetrating Radar – Used to determine shapes of anything that is buried.

Weston & Sampson hopes to have the results of this work in approximately 2 weeks, and will then analyze them and prepare a report. We will share the report once it is complete.

Government Shutdown Affecting EPA:
Meanwhile, most functions at the EPA have been suspended due to the federal government shutdown. Most staff, including the PCB Coordinator for EPA Region 1, who is responsible for our site, are not allowed to conduct any work while furloughed. While the impact on our timeline remains unclear, there is concern that the backlog that will be waiting when staff return to work will create some delay. We will keep you posted on this as well.

As always, please feel free to share this information, send additional questions, and let others know they can sign up for these alerts.

Best regards,


Contact: As always, we are happy to answer your additional questions. Please feel free to contact me, Director of Parks and Open Space Arn Franzen at 617-625-6600 x2545 or afranzen@somervillema.gov.

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