Morley Field – Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Poisoned, yet played on. A generation of questions … Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons … Just what did Pawtucket City Government know …. and when?

From The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management-In Response To Inquiries By The Coalition Radio Network

DEM received an application for an Expedited Policy for Remediation of Environmental Simple Sites for the property located at 94 Moshassuck Street, Pawtucket, Morley Field. As the Performing Party for this Site, Blackstone Distribution Center, LLC hired an environmental firm (Alliance Environmental Group) to perform a Site Investigation (SI) of this property in accordance with Section 1.8 of DEM’s Rules and Regulations for the Investigation and Remediation of Hazardous Material Releases (Remediation Regulations). The SI included sampling of the soil and groundwater on the property. The results of the SI indicated that lead and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were present in the soil at concentrations above DEM’s Residential Direct Exposure Criteria. As is typical at Sites like these, the preferred Remedial Alterative is a cap over the contaminated soil, to limit future dermal contact with any contamination, and Environmental Land Use Restriction (ELUR) recorded on the deed of the property. An ELUR is required on any property on which soil at concentrations above DEM’s Direct Exposure Criteria is intended to remain in place as to inform any future successors of known environmental conditions below grade and to ensure that the approved remedy remains protective of human health and the environment in accordance with the Remediation Regulations. Finally, Public notice was conducted in accordance with the Section 1.8.7(A)(2) and (B) of the Remediation Regulations.

DEM evaluates potentially contaminated properties with respect to our Remediation Regulations. This Performing Party, has performed the SI and Public Notice in compliance with our Remediation Regulations. DEM’s role in this agreement is to review and approve the recreation replacement plan for compliance with any applicable statewide recreation plans, and to review the replacement plan for environmental impacts and/or items that are jurisdictional to the Department’s various programs, in this case, compliance with the Remediation Regulations.

Regarding Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons”

From Nature.Com:

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) originate from unburned fuel, lubricating oil and/or are formed during incomplete combustion of organic material1. These environmental pollutants represent an important cause of morbidity and mortality both in the general population and in occupationally exposed individuals2,3. Epidemiological studies have identified PAH as important causative agents for lung, colorectal, pancreatic and prostate cancers4,5,6, yet the actual mechanisms by which pollution causes the adverse health effects is not yet completely understood.

Of concern? Morley Field is still accessible to the public, with only a single “Government Speak” sign vaguely alluding to DEM’s involvement. Watch the video, a single broken gate is all that keeps children away from the Field. A property deemed dangerous enough that the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management is seeking remediation is effectively open for business.



We have reached out to Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien with the following questions ….

Is the sale of the Morley Field Property to Blackstone Distribution Center LLC complete?

Was the City of Pawtucket aware of this contamination when Morley Field was used by generations of Pawtucket residents?

Is the City of Pawtucket prepared to compensate the new owners of Morley Field for remediation costs?

The Coalition has also called upon property owners Blackstone Distribution Center LLC for comment.

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