PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) -- The Department of Environmental Management is investigating a complaint about a piece of land on Valley Street in Providence that contains soil contaminated with lead, arsenic and other chemicals.
181 Valley Street is composed of eight lots located near the intersection of Valley and Helme, across from the Rising Sun Mills complex. Providence land records indicate the property is owned by Rising Sun Mills Employer Parking LLC and was purchased with a taxpayer funded loan from the Providence Economic Development Partnership.
The DEM is not releasing many details, other than confirming that the complaint was turned over to its office of compliance and inspection and is being investigated.
“The department is considering whatever action, if any, it will take,” DEM spokesperson Gail Mastrati says. “So, no further comments would be appropriate at this time.”
Mastrati did not offer a time frame for a conclusion to the inquiry.
Target 12 was contacted by an eyewitness who tells us he saw about "6 hours of digging" at the location on November 27. He said he saw dozens of loads of soil hauled away from 181 Valley and to a wooded area at the end of Cutler Street and adjacent to Donigian Park and playground.
The ‘Remedial Action Work Plan’ for 181 Valley indicates the soil contains ‘arsenic, lead, poly-nuclear aromatic hydrocarbon and total petroleum hydrocarbons’. The plan was put together by Alliance Environmental Group. A phone call from Target 12 to that Warwick company was not returned.
According to city records, Rising Sun Mills Employer Parking LLC bought 181 Valley Street in February with a $620,000 dollar taxpayer funded loan from the PEDP. Minutes from a PEDP meeting indicate Rising Sun and Dassault Systems plan on turning the eight lots into a 106 space parking lot.
We went to the address listed on state records for Rising Sun Mills Employer Parking LLC but no one was available to comment.
Copyright WPRI 12
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