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Uploaded on Nov 10, 2011
Spent a day shooting photos in Iron Horse Park, an aging, rusting, decaying brown site -- a place contaminated by hazardous waste -- in Billerica, Massachusetts. All I could think of was the parents who must worry about the air their children breathe and the puddles they jump in. And what about all the lost opportunities, lost jobs and lost quality of life from the environmental hazards left behind. At first I hesitated to share the location because this site is posted and there is no parking, no stopping.
The Iron Horse Park site, a 553-acre industrial complex, includes manufacturing and railyard maintenance facilities, open storage areas, landfills, and wastewater lagoons. A long history of activities at the site, beginning in 1913, has resulted in the contamination of soil, groundwater, and surface water. An asbestos landfill is located at the site adjacent to the lagoons area. Middlesex Canal runs along the length of the northern boundary and is drained by Content Brook, which runs through residential areas into the Shawseen River east of the site. Richardson Pond lies north of the site and is also drained by Content Brook. An unnamed brook, which runs northerly through the site near wastewater lagoons, drains into a marshland near the asbestos landfill.
Approximately 61,000 people live within a 3-mile radius of the site. There are four day care centers or nursery schools, two housing units for the elderly, and a walk-in clinic in the area. A trailer park and condominium complex are located within 1 mile of the site.
Instead of closing this off to the public, perhaps there should be bus tours and school trips to places like this. We need to remember and learn from our past sins as a society so we don't make the same mistakes.
If you decide to go here, please exercise abundant caution for your personal safety.
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