Developer, city to study Vacuum Oil site contamination


The properties around the old Vacuum Oil site in the Plymouth-Exchange neighborhood have a long history of pollution. And though it's probably going to take a long time to clean them up, there is some progress to report in what's known as the Vacuum Oil Brownfield Opportunity Area.

The owner of 5 and 15 Flint Street — a  private development company called One Flint St. LLC — is preparing to resume an investigation into contamination at the properties, according to a notice sent out yesterday by the State Department of Environmental Conservation.

The DEC says that One Flint St.'s study will include the site's soil, surface water, and ground water. The work is meant to confirm the findings of past site investigations and to provide a better characterization of contamination at the site, says the DEC notice. The findings will be used to develop a cleanup plan. The site includes a former auto salvage yard and part of the old Vacuum Oil refinery.

Mark Gregor, the city's manager of environmental quality, said in an e-mail that he views the new investigation work as important progress.

Gregor says that the city has applied to the state's brownfield cleanup program so that it can investigate several parcels around 5 and 15 Flint Street. He says that the application will enter a public comment period next week. Once the investigatory work is done, he says, the city plans to perform some remedial work, Gregor says.

"Together, these two BCP projects are a significant step toward cleanup and redevelopment," he says.