Accession Number:



Chemical Analyses of Sediment Sampling at the Massachusetts Bay Disposal Site, 5-7 June 1989

Descriptive Note:

Final rept.

Corporate Author:


Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



Sediment chemistry studies at the Massachusetts Bay Disposal Site MBDS have concentrated on the interim disposal area, established in 1977. Prior to the establishment of the interim site, materials may have been released at the site that were more contaminated than those currently being disposed. A survey conducted during June, 1989 sampled areas within the MBDS suspected to contain contaminated sediments, and identified potential areas to be capped by future disposal of sediments that are suitable for open ocean disposal. Sediment samples were taken at 20 stations within, or adjacent to, the western half of the MBDS. This area overlaps the historical Industrial Waste Site. Samples were analyzed for both trace metal and organic contaminants. Results of samples from the June 1989 survey showed that contaminant concentrations were primarily influenced by historical dredged material and waste disposal. The spatial distribution of chemical data, especially polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons PAHs, indicated that contaminant concentrations were highest along the western edge of MBDS, in the center of the historical waste site. This area should be further investigated by site managers for receipt of capping material. Concentrations of all trace metals were relatively low compared to MBDS reference areas and regional Massachusetts Bay data. PCBs were undetected at stations previously reported to have concentrations of up to 1 ppm. The decrease in concentration of PCBs at the MBDS is possibly due to further disposal of sediments with low concentrations of PCBs in this case below the detection limit of 20 ppb. Low levels 11 ppb of pesticides 4,4- DDE were detected at over half of the MBDS stations. Measured concentrations were within regional ranges reported for Massachusetts Bay.

Subject Categories:

  • Industrial Chemistry and Chemical Processing
  • Solid Wastes and Pollution and Control

Distribution Statement: