June 13, 2021

Town of Seekonk Awarded $750K in Cleanup Funding for Former Attleboro Dye Works Site

Federal & State Partners Committed to Working with Town in Revitalizing Brownfields Site


Imagine driving by the Ten Mile River and seeing it reflecting back a bright pink or purple! While that may sound shocking to us today, many lifelong Seekonk residents recall this as a regular occurrence and have even shared stories of swimming in the river and coming out with a colorful tinge to their skin as a result of the textiles being dyed at the Attleboro Dye Works site upstream. Like many communities in New England, the Industrial Revolution left a legacy of contamination along Seekonk’s rivers that we are faced with mitigating today.

Nestled in a residential neighborhood, the 7.8-acre former Attleboro Dye Works Site (ADW), includes a firedamaged, collapsing 101,000 SF abandoned industrial building, which for over 60 years, conducted dyeing processes that used dye fixing agents and waste dye carriers as well as mixed, transferred and stored metals, solvents and petroleum hydrocarbon compounds. The wastewater was then discharged to three, large unlined wastewater lagoons located on-site. Lagoon sediments are contaminated with heavy metals, PCBs, chlorinated solvents, petroleum hydrocarbons and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). These contaminants pose a threat to public health as well as the surrounding sensitive riparian corridor.

However, over the last five years, the Town, its partner agencies, and key stakeholders have made great strides at the site. In 2016, the Town worked with the EPA to perform a limited removal action of containerized hazardous materials. The following year, the Town was successful in securing $450K grants from both the MassDevelopment and U.S. EPA Brownfields programs to complete assessment activities over the last three years. In 2019, the Town pursued a tax-taking of the abandoned site to facilitate cleanup efforts. And now the Town has been awarded an additional $750K in grant funding from state and federal partners to remediate all three contaminated wastewater lagoons, moving the Town one step closer toward site development and revitalization of the Baker’s Corner neighborhood.

“Knowing the competitive nature of the EPA Brownfields Cleanup Grant selection process, the Town of Seekonk is honored to be amongst a handful of communities across New England selected for an award this year. As anybody involved in the cleanup of these former industrial sites will tell you, it takes a determined and dedicated team effort with local, state, and federal partners to see these projects through each stage of the process. Our team has given the former Attleboro Dye Works site a voice at every step along the way, telling the compelling story of its industrial past and how critical its redevelopment is to revitalizing the Baker’s Corner neighborhood. In that vein, we’d like to thank our team, especially the U.S. EPA and MassDevelopment Brownfields programs, for their continued investment and support in the former Attleboro Dye Works site.” said Town Administrator Shawn Cadime.

For additional information about this project, please contact Jennifer Miller, Conservation Agent: jmiller@seekonk-ma.gov  or (508) 336-2944.


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