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Coventry Asphalt Plants
During 2012, numerous complaints from residents in the North Woods and Westwood Estates in Coventry were received regarding a black, sticky, oily substance that was covering their decks, outdoor furniture, cars, etc. DEM has also received comparable complaints from other areas of Rhode Island distant to these neighborhoods. Inspectors have observed similar black substances during these investigations. An analysis by DEM of five samples provided by a resident at 122 Reservoir Road in the North Woods neighborhood in September 2012 showed naturally-occurring substances (e.g. fungi, molds, etc.). During this process, DEM consulted with experts at the University of Rhode Island (URI) on the cause of the black sticky, oily substance and was advised that Rhode Island experienced a large number of scale insects in the landscape during the spring and summer of 2012. Based upon discussions with experts at URI and the observations of DEM inspectors in other areas in the state, we believe that a species of scale insect known as black-banded lecanium scale (Mesolecanium nigrofasciatum) has caused the black sticky, oily substance that has been found on exterior surfaces on homes, outdoor furniture, decks and fences in certain neighborhoods in Coventry and other areas in the state.
An analysis done on behalf of residents of the Westwood Estates neighborhood in 2011 also resulted in natural substances.
An analysis done by a resident at 14 Catalpa Way in the North Woods neighborhood in September 2011 also turned up naturally-occurring substances as well as titanium, a constituent of paint (commonly found on vinyl fencing).
DEM reviewed the analytical results of a sample taken on November 8, 2011 at a residence at 16 Catalpa Way that had a TPH (total petroleum hydrocarbon) concentration of 2300/mg/kg. TPH is typically found in petroleum products. The fingerprint evaluation on the report stated that there was no evidence of coal tar and that the chromatogram did not match any of the lab's fuel oil or petroleum stack standards. The lab concluded that the elevated "TPH" was most likely the result of organic decay.