In the summer of 2018, MassDEP responded to a request from the Town of Dartmouth (Town) to investigate potential environmental hazards in the Bliss Corner area of Dartmouth. In the fall of 2018, MassDEP received nuisance odor complaints from a property owner during the development of a property in the Bliss Corner neighborhood.
MassDEP personnel performed an inspection during which waste material was observed in the shallow soil on certain residential properties, including some lots being developed. The waste material observed typically consists of discolored soil (blackish) containing broken glass, scrap metal, bricks, shingles, and tar-like material. Historic press clips recently provided to MassDEP and the Town described historic dumping activities dating back to at least the 1930s, prior to residential development of this neighborhood. The assessment of the waste material is being conducted in accordance with the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP) – the Commonwealth’s regulations governing the assessment and cleanup of oil and/or hazardous material in the environment.
December 2, 2021 Public Meeting
MassDEP conducted an informational virtual meeting regarding the preliminary investigation into historic dumping in the Bliss Corner neighborhood. MassDEP provided an update on the recent investigation activities that have occurred since the previous public meeting in October 2019. In addition, US EPA Region 1 provided information on their removal action program. A question-and-answer session followed.
Links to the meeting video (on MassDEP's YouTube channel) and meeting presentation material can be found below.
June 12, 2020
October 1, 2019 Public Meeting
MassDEP will be conducting an informational meeting regarding the preliminary investigation into historic dumping in the Bliss Corner neighborhood. MassDEP will provide an update on the investigation and the progress made since the first public meeting, held on March 21, 2019. Updates will include soil and groundwater sampling results from Town-owned rights-of-way, residential soil sampling results, responses to Requests for Information issued to the City of New Bedford and Town of Dartmouth, and next steps in the investigation. The meeting will take place on Tuesday, October 1, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. in the auditorium at the Dartmouth High School located at 555 Bakerville Road.
July 15, 2019
Investigation of Waste Material in the Bliss Corner Neighborhood- Status Report No. 2 PDF
Analytical Results for Groundwater Samples Collected from Monitoring Wells Installed in the Town Roads Right-of-Ways
June 12, 2019
Investigation of Waste Material in the Bliss Corner Neighborhood - Status Report No. 1 PDF
Analytical Results for Soil Samples Collected from Soil Borings Advanced in the Town Roads Right-of-Ways
May 6-8, 2019 Drilling
MassDEP and its contractor, Green Environmental, will be in the Bliss Corner neighborhood between May 6 and May 8, 2019 to install soil borings and monitoring wells within Town-owned right-of-ways. Drilling will take place between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., and will include locations on Donald Street, East Wordell Street, Wordell Street, Holland Street, McCabe Street, Kraseman Street, Sharp Street, Milton Street, Hazel Street, Anawan Street, and Fern Street. Soil and groundwater sampling data will be posted on this webpage as it becomes available.
March 21st Public Meeting: Meeting Notice Regarding Historic Dumping in a Residential Neighborhood, Bliss Corner
MassDEP will be conducting an informational meeting regarding the Bliss Corner preliminary investigation into historic dumping in a residential neighborhood. MassDEP personnel will be available at this meeting to provide an update to the residents on the investigation. This meeting will take place on Thursday March 21, 2019, at 6:00 pm in the auditorium at the Dartmouth High School located at 555 Bakerville Road (map).
If you have any questions regarding the meeting or location, please feel free to call the Dartmouth Board of Health at 508-910-1804.
- Limited analytical testing of the soil/waste material has shown elevated concentrations (above the MCP reportable concentrations for residential areas) of oil or hazardous materials, including metals (arsenic, barium, chromium, lead, vanadium, and zinc), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
- MassDEP and the Dartmouth Board of Health (BOH) has identified four private water supply wells in the neighborhood and MassDEP has collected and analyzed samples from all four private water supply wells. The analytical results indicate that there were no contaminants associated with the waste material detected in the samples.
- Some oil and/or hazardous material in the soil can volatilize and impact the indoor air of nearby buildings. However, based on the types of chemicals identified to date, a potential impact to indoor air does not exist.
The presence of the oil or hazardous materials at certain concentrations requires response actions pursuant to the MCP. Given the limited nature of this information, further investigation is necessary to determine the extent of the contamination throughout the neighborhood and whether its presence poses a risk to humans, animals or vegetation exposed to it.
Frequently Asked Questions
MassDEP has prepared a collection of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to address concerns residents may have about the dumping and precautions they may choose to take while the investigation progresses.
The FAQ may be downloaded from the link below.
Additional Site Investigation
As the investigation into the historic dumping in and around the Bliss Corner neighborhood continues, MassDEP will upload information to the online file review system. Use the Release Tracking Number ("RTN") 4-27620 to search for recent information, as shown below.
In addition, information about the response actions being taken at specific properties on McCabe Street and Kraseman Street can be found at the links below.
For more information about the Bliss Corner Neighborhood investigation, please contact Lori Williamson in MassDEP's Southeast Regional Office:
MassDEP | Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup
20 Riverside Drive
Lakeville, MA 02347