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Groups Claim Blackstone National Park Could be Threatened by EPA Cleanup

Friday, December 05, 2014


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could threaten the vision for a national park set on Blackstone River’s banks in Cumberland and Lincoln according to locals, elected officials, and other supporters of the national park movement who have voiced their concern for the EPA’s cleanup plan for a Superfund site on the Blackstone River.

“The approach must allow for continued access to and from the Blackstone River and its shores for recreation and tourism,” said Charlene Perkins Cutler, Executive Director of the BRVNHC.  “A denuded landscape along this National Heritage Corridor results in a de facto barrier, which in turn constitutes a blight on this most valued national resource.”

EPA's Proposed Plan

The EPA’s proposed plan for remediations was released July 31 of this year and since then proponents of the national park initiative have been growing in the Lincoln and Cumberland communities.

The local interest group fears that the EPA plan will require the “cutting and removal of almost every tree across 50 to 70 acres of land and prevent re-use for recreational or passive use."

The Lincoln Town Council unanimously approved a resolution to encourage the EPA to revise their plan and give the community a more sensible option “that leaves as much of the existing vegetation in place as possible” and “keeps the Blackstone River open and accessible to all.”

Cumberland’s town council has responded by employing an independent engineering firm to review the EPA’s plan of action. 

The EPA is accepting comments on their proposed plan until January 23, 2015.  

About the PRPs: The Potentially Responsible Parties (“PRPs”) are a small percentage of all the businesses, companies and municipalities who were customers of the permitted landfill at the site of the proposed clean up during its 30 years of operation from the mid - 1950’s to the early - 1980’s.  Many local Rhode Island companies are included among the PRP group. This information was distributed by the PRP Group.


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