Walpole house for the Bird?

I got the following e-mail from somebody who wanted to know if either anybody knows about the situation he describes or Walpole/Norwood forums to which he could post. If you know about either, post here or mail me and I'll forward:

I am looking at a house in Walpole that is right off Pleasant St On Pleasant St. about a quarter mile from the house is this huge plant! it used to be Bird Shingles Co., now it is Certainteed shingles? We are afraid to buy and then find out it's a cancer neighborhood. I know most towns in Mass. have some old plants that used to dump wherever they wanted but this place kind of scares me. The realtor was like "oh it's no big deal don't worry about it," we LOVE the house but we don't love cancer. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

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    Scorecard.org

    By on

    http://www.scorecard.org/ is your friend for all sorts of toxic then/toxic now information.

    They incorporate information from the Massachusetts TRI program, which requires reporting of air/land/water/fugitive releases.

    Walpole

    By on

    The walpole forum is walpole.org and then click on Walpole Words and post. To my knowledge, that is not a Superfund site.

    Environmental hazards

    There are three vectors of contamination you might consider:

    - Soil. If past industrial activity released stuff like heavy metals (lead, arsenic, cadmium, etc) into the air, then it could have landed on the soil and contaminated it. This is generally mostly a problem if you eat food grown in contaminated soils, although small kids can be affected tool.

    - Water. If groundwater is contaminated (as in Woburn), then the contamination can affect your water supply. This can happen even if the house is nowhere near the contamination, if the house is on public water. If the house has a private well, then proximity is more of an issue.

    - Air. Generally this is not a problem today, since EPA and DEP regulate all airborne plant emissions.

    If you are concerned, you can hire a 21E consultant (see http://www.mass.gov/lsp/) from the property. For about $350 you can get a water sample tested (see http://www.watertestonline.com/) for pretty much all organic and inorganic contaminants. If the house is served by a public water system, the water system is required to maintain test records as well.