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History of the Engelhard Site in Plainville  


BASF Catalysts LLC acquired the former manufacturing site in Plainville, MA through the acquisition of Engelhard Corporation, USA in June 2006. The site has a history of industrial use dating back to 1957. Operations included metal fabrication and finishing for use by the U.S. Mint and jewelry and electronics industries. Other operations involved fabricating uranium fuel elements under license from the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.

In 1962—prior to the acquisition of the Engelhard site by BASF—all radiological operations were discontinued, most of the buildings at the facility were decommissioned and demolished, and much of the radiologic material was removed. Other industrial operations continued on the site until Engelhard closed the facility in 1993. A groundwater extraction and treatment system operated on site from 1998 until 2021, followed by in-situ treatment to address any groundwater contamination.

A groundwater extraction and treatment system was put into operation on the site.
BASF packaged and removed radioactive material from the site and sent it to an off-site facility
BASF removed a 100,000-gallon tank and large cement slabs where buildings had been.
To further reduce groundwater contamination, BASF successfully completed a pilot scale groundwater remediation project on the main site in 2013
BASF began injecting oxidants into the groundwater through wells west and east of Route 152 to help destroy the compounds of concern in the groundwater. This area is NOT a source of public drinking water. The oxidant injection process was successful and is now complete, although monitoring will continue for the foreseeable future.
BASF completed a Baseline On-Site Non-Residential Human Health Risk Assessment and an Off-Site Risk Assessment to set cleanup goals. Comments provided by USEPA were addressed in a revised Work Plan that include additional sampling.

Between December 2016 and April 2017, BASF excavated and removed more than 3,200 tons of soil contaminated with low-level enriched uranium from the site, along with a small amount of contaminated sediment from the Turnpike Lake shoreline.
Additional sampling of soils was completed in 2017 and 2018, and BASF submitted a Work Plan for an Ecological Risk Assessment to the EPA
Submittal of Risk Based Disposal Plan to address PCBs and metals in soils
Initiated in-situ treatment of groundwater using Enhanced Anaerobic Degradation methods. This process continues to the present with groundwater monitoring into the foreseeable future.

From summer of 2021 to January of 2022, parts and contents of a former on-site septic system were excavated and properly disposed of at a licensed off-site facility. More than 9,000 gallons of liquids were also removed from the septic tank. 
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