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Read how facilitated negotiation results in successful Hazardous Waste Site Cleanup at Paint Shop Pond and how outreach to the community and regulators improves a Fortune 500 company’s reputation with local property owners.

PAINT SHOP POND
Wellesley College and MA Department of Environmental Protection (MA DEP)
December 1996 – December 2001
December 2004 – January 2005

The Challenge

In 1932, Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts purchased an adjacent parcel of land known as Paint Shop Pond, to maintain it as open space and prevent development near the College. In the mid 1970s, high levels of certain chemicals were discovered on the Paint Shop Pond parcel of land. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MADEP) became involved in efforts to clean up the contamination on what was eventually designated as a Tier 1 (priority) Massachusetts State Superfund site.  In 1983, the College - as the responsible party - began investigation and cleanup activities.  Over time, the College and DEP had a series of conflicts over past investigative work and the need for additional analysis and remediation.  While both sides were expending significant resources, the site investigation and cleanup process became enmeshed in a series of legal maneuvers that resulted in an atmosphere of distrust and a standstill of cleanup efforts.

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