What’s Going on at the North 40

By Cathy Brauner
cbrauner@wickedlocal.com
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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.

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3 Responses to What’s Going on at the North 40

  1. Pete Jones says:

    Thanks for posting this information. The hundreds of residents who use this area for passive recreation appreciate this update. Also the Wellesley Conservation Council volunteers are helping the Wellesley NRC wetlands protection committee in removing invasive plants, such as burning bush, Japanese Knotweed, bittersweet and garlic mustard. If you would like free exercise please volunteer to help us get the Certified Vernal Pool #32 area in shape and void of invasive plants. To date we have removed six(6) large dumpsters of invasive plants and more to come. Come join us for an hour or two to move the cutting into the dumpster, many hands makes for lite work.

  2. From Meghan Jop, I sense other intentions for the area. Money is being spent on their activity.
    I sense that money is expected to be returned.
    Is the activity and money being spent to bring a return of original habitat, or to clean
    it to make it suitable for parcel housing plans for income from sales and increased tax revenue?
    The actual intentions should be found and discussed.

  3. Jim Gordon says:

    So did the town actually buy a contaminated parcel without a contingency that the seller pay for remediation? “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.”

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