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UPDATED: General Chemical To Close

General Chemical Corp., located next door to Wilson Elementary School, in a letter to the state said it will begin to close its hazardous waste transfer site in April.

in a letter to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) said it plans to close it hazardous waste transfer site, located next door to

"It is expected that closure activities, in accordance with the company’s approved Closure Plan, will commence on April 16, 2012," wrote Michael S. Persico in his etter to the state's DEP.

The has been holding a series of hearings to decide whether it would allow the facility to continue to keep its site assignment.

Framingham Public Health Director Ethan Mascoop, who spent almost two hours testifying on the fifth night of health hearings on Wednesday, outlined  numerous violations by General Chemical including a fire in August 2011, that was never reported to the state nor the town.

"We are very happy. ... This is a significant event for that neighborhood," said Mascoop this afternoon. "This is a community that has suffered a lot of environmental abuse."

At that Wednesday night hearing Chief Gary Daughtery tstified he had concerns if General Chemical just closed. He outlined several safety and security concerns. (See attached photo.)

The state has oversight on cleanup and closure proceedings, explained Mascoop, who said he had conversations with DEP today to discuss the town's input into the closure plan.

The DEP has ordered General Chemical to set aside more than $1 million to cleanup a plume of contaminated groundwater near the company, which is located near the border of Framingham and Sherborn.

No one from General Chemical was present at Wednesday night's four-hour hearing.

The a community group, and members of the Framingham Chapter of The Sierra Club, have been  focused on addressing the enormous health and environmental dangers posed by .

FACES, which formed in the fall of 2011, began a door-to-door campaign to educated the largely Brazilian neighborhood about General Chemical.

In 2008 and 2010, only a handful of Brazilian families attended hearings about General Chemical held at the elementary school. More than 75% of the students at Wilson Elementary, English is not their first language.

FACES distributed flyers in Portuguese and educated the neighborhood about what they considered the dangers of General Chemical and its location adjacent to an elementary school.

The Framingham Public Schools have maintained the school is safe, and an environmental consulted testified Wednesday night that inside the school building is safe. Parents in the audience, after the hearing, said they had concerns about the children having recess daily with the facility next door to the playground.

No one from General Chemical in Framingham or its New Jersey headquarters returned a phone call to Framingham Patch late this afternoon.

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Susan Petroni March 03, 2012 at 07:28 PM
To be accurate, the RESIDENTS, who lived in that neighborhood, worked hard to fight against the problems. There were several residents, of all nationalities (although it doesn't really matter what nationality, who took photos after midnight and documented issues at all hours. Nice to see everyone working together for a common goal - residents and town officials.
Kristen Nason March 03, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Yes, Susan, It is nice to see what can happen when the community speaks up and works together to get things done! We aren't done yet, we still need to keep the pressure on General Chemical, the BoH and the DEP to make sure this neighborhood isn't forgotten once the hearings fade from the spotlight.
Jim Rizoli March 03, 2012 at 11:46 PM
I hate to say it that neighborhood is done for....to clean that area up properly pretty much is an impossibility. It's too far gone. Just another LOVE CANAL. Jim@ccfiile.com
Joe Rizoli March 03, 2012 at 11:48 PM
The damage is already done. HOW these people got away with this is criminal. Good the people stood up to fight this company. Joe Rizoli
Ned Price March 05, 2012 at 01:10 AM
Congratulations to Mike Hugo and Ginger Esty who worked hard to get this done


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