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Faxon Field contamination concerns overstated, Quincy officials say

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  February 19, 2011 11:06 AM

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The dirt on Faxon Field at Quincy High School is not hazardous, but is contaminated, city officials said after a recent School Committee meeting.

According to City Solicitor Jim Timmins, the area must be tested and reports filed with the Department of Environmental Protections because of the condition of the dirt. Still, the area does not contain any hazardous materials.

“'Contaminated' is a relative term,” Timmins said. “It’s considered to be regulated … But the notion that this is contaminated fill with any issues in it is craziness.”

The dirt came from the excavation of the site of the current Quincy High School, and must remain there until the city brings it to a proper disposal area, Timmins said.

The fill has yet to be moved, however, as it’s a part of a larger process to prepare the site for the track, a process that should start come spring.

The city will use the dirt to “pre-load” Faxon Field -- or pile the dirt on the track site and leave it there for 120 days until the earth underneath settles, Timmins said.

Once the site has been pre-loaded, the city will haul away the fill to a disposal area.

Although City Hall doesn’t see any remaining problems with the proposed track site, some nearby residents are still up in arms about the project.

A resident of the nearby Southern Artery, Chris Chetwynd, and Quincy resident Paul Kodad filed a lawsuit in Norfolk County Superior Court to halt construction of the field as they believe the flooding of the field and nearby Southern Arty yards is related.

Construction, they said, would only make things worse.

Chetwynd brought up additional concerns regarding contamination at a School Committee meeting on Feb. 9. It is an issue he says the city is not properly dealing with.

“Our children will be using it at some point in time, and the health of our children should be of utmost concern,” Chetwynd said at the meeting.

The case has not moved far in court since its filling.

The city is willing to work things out with neighbors who have concerns, Timmins said. However, the city intends to go through with the project.

“There are some people who have been opposing the track at Faxon Field from day one,” Timmins said. “We’ve given reports to people, we’ve gone over the whole site, and everyone is aware of what’s going on.”

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