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News Release
RI Department of Environmental Management
235 Promenade St., Providence, RI 02908
(401) 222-2771 TDD/(401) 222-4462

For Release:

August 21, 2000

Media Contact:

Sally Spadaro 222-4700 ext. 2426


PROVIDENCE - In response to many odor complaints received from residents in the Plainfield Valley condominium complex regarding the unlicensed dumpsite on the Recchia property in Johnston, the Department of Environmental Management will seek more immediate remedies when the ongoing civil court case goes forward on Wednesday before Superior Court Judge Frank Williams.

"Based on our review of the situation, the only effective solution that we see right now is to immediately start removal of the construction and demolition debris," explained DEM Director Jan H. Reitsma. The Department and the Office of the Attorney General will return to Superior Court on August 23 to seek this remedy.

In addition, DEM has consulted with the Rhode Island Department of Health on the complaints received concerning health effects from the facility and the odors. DEM and HEALTH recommend that concerned residents consider participating in the Environmental Health Intervention Project that the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) is considering for residents in this part of Johnston. Residents can contact the Rhode Island Department of Health at 222-2231 during regular business hours to address any questions on the project or to request to participate.

On August 11, 2000, DEM and Robert Recchia agreed on a plan to abate the hydrogen sulfide odors emanating from Recchia's property at 90 Mill Street in Johnston. The respondent retained the services of an environmental response contractor, Clean Harbors, and an environmental consultant, Alternative Resources. The plan required the respondent's contractor to immediately institute measures to seal of a series of fissures in the surface of the fill and place a layer of plastic sheeting to impede the migration of offensive odors.

The Department has been monitoring the effectiveness of these efforts, which were considered to be the first level of action in the odor response plan for the facility. Unfortunately, these initial efforts have not controlled the odors, and the unacceptable conditions that the neighbors have experienced have continued.


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