By Cathy Brauner
Posted at 3:01 PM
Updated at 3:02 PM
Residents who regularly visit the North 40 – and specifically, the part that was once a dump site – have noticed town employees in the area and heard rumors that trees are going to be removed.
The North 40 is an undeveloped parcel of land along Weston Road that the town
acquired from Wellesley College. In addition to community gardens, it includes walking trails and a vernal pool. The town leased 22 acres from 1955 to 1960 for a sanitary landfill.
So what’s going on? The answer, according to Meghan Jop, Wellesley’s assistant
executive director, has to do with evaluation and testing of the landfill, a process that began in 2014.
As part of this, she said in an email, “The town is continuing to work with
Environmental Partners Group Inc. to address environmental assessment activities
required to support a Phase II Comprehensive Site Assessment and Phase III Remedial Action Plan under the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP).”
The site was classified as a Tier 1 site after arsenic was found in December 2015. The selectmen received funds at Town Meeting in 2017 to do the work , which will “install additional groundwater monitoring wells, do some additional test pits within the landfill area to delineate the thickness and extent of the landfill cover material, and install gas piezometers within the landfill waste to assist with determining the necessary cleanup/remedy for the landfill,” according to Jop.
The team will be at the site over the next few weeks doing the investigation. “Several trees may impacted or removed by DPW to get necessary equipment into the area,” Jop said.
What’s going on at Wellesley’s North 40?
The work is likely to begin in the next two weeks, “with larger equipment coming
towards the end of August,” she said. “Once the selectmen review the results, the town will have a better understanding of required remedial action and the goal is to return to the annual Town Meeting in March 2018 to seek funding to complete the work. Under the MCP all work must be complete by December 2019.”
Once exact dates are known, the town will be posting notices, including any information about closures of the aqueduct trail. “At present, we believe we can keep it open during the work,” Jop said.