Keith Middle and High school property and neighborhood, New Medford, Massachusetts, EPA facility id: MAD105369441
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Keith Middle and High school property and neighborhood, New Medford, Massachusetts, EPA facility id: MAD105369441

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      In 2005, ATSDR received a petition from a citizen of New Bedford, Massachusetts. The petitioner was concerned about plans to build a middle school on a former waste dump. The petitioner asked ATSDR to investigate the property where Keith Middle School (KMS) was proposed to be built and the adjacent wetlands. Construction of KMS started in 2005 and the school was occupied by December 2006. ATSDR accepted the petition in 2005 and worked with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MDEP), the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the city of New Bedford (the city) to address environmental health concerns from the communities. The area of concern is part of the Parker Street Waste Site (PSWS) in the city. The site includes KMS, wetlands adjacent to KMS, New Bedford High School (NBHS), Walsh and Andre McCoy athletic fields, residential properties, commercial properties, and an apartment complex. Environmental investigations identified areas contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and lead, chemicals of concern by the petitioner. The source of the contamination at KMS was fill material from the PSWS. Since 2005, various agencies have conducted numerous investigations and sampling events at KMS and the wetlands adjacent to it. For example, EPA developed a cleanup plan and asked ATSDR to review the plan in 2005. ATSDR completed a health consultation that concluded the plan would sufficiently protect public health and addressed the petitioner’s concern regarding possible PCBs exposure during remediation. In 2013, MDPH Bureau of Environmental Health completed two health consultations on the NBHS and the PSWS neighborhood in New Bedford. The health consultations were completed in response to environmental health concerns expressed by staff at NBHS and KMS and by neighbors who live near the schools. Some of the concerns in the 2005 petition were addressed by those activities. This health consultation addresses the petitioner’s and the community’s remaining concerns about PCBs and lead exposures at KMS, the adjacent wetlands, and NBHS. Keith-Mid-high-Schl-Prop-and-Neigh_HC-508.pdf
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