Bay News excerpt-
Utility company National Grid, under state oversight, plans to excavate enough toxic dirt to fill up two Olympic-sized swimming pools
from the lot near the corner of Neptune Avenue and W. Fifth Street
before developers can build a new retail center and 41-story tower
A gas-manufacturing plant occupied the site at the turn of the 20th century, leaving the land laden with coal tar, cyanide, and a host of nasty stuff.
Officials plan to start excavation in January, when frigid air keeps
foul smells at bay and most people don’t leave their windows open, but
even with the cold air and the tent, neighbors may smell something funky
once work begins, Cross said. A little stank is par for the course, but
dangerous levels of airborne toxicants would make the nabe smell so bad
that it would be impossible to miss them and not sound the alarm before
someone gets hurt, he said.
“The thing to remember is it stinks to high heaven. It smells really
bad, so it’s hard to get exposed to a dangerous level,” Cross said.
Plus there will be inspectors on site whose sole job is to keep their
noses to the ground and stop work if things get dangerous, he said.
Cross is encouraging locals to drop a dime if the reek gets out of hand.