Multi-Disciplinary Services, Civil & Environmental Program Management for 2,000 Acre Cistercian Monastery

In 2013, Wilcox & Barton, Inc. was retained to investigate and remediate petroleum-contaminated soil found during excavation for a new commercial beer brewery building. The leak was traced to an aboveground storage tank (AST) fuel line at this 2,000-acre monastery supporting manufacturing, agricultural, residential, and religious activities.  

Soil was remediated first under a Limited Removal Action (LRA), then later as a Remedial Action Measure (RAM) under the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP) with Licensed Site Professional (LSP) oversight. Excavation encountered bedrock but did achieve conditions for a Response Action Outcome Statement.

Wilcox & Barton, Inc. completed an independent audit of an Environmental Management System (EMS) that had been prepared by others. Areas of concentration included air pollution permits, industrial and sanitary wastewater treatment, underground and above ground petroleum storage tanks, hazardous waste, drinking water supply, stormwater management, and underground injection control regulated by a combination of local, state, and federal agencies. The objective of the audit was to ensure that the EMS captured all relevant aspects and impacts of facility operations and was being properly implemented.

The audit identified compliance issues ranging from petroleum storage and water supply to hazardous waste storage and management. Following submittal of the audit report, Wilcox & Barton, Inc. was retained to address the findings, update the EMS, and perform other services related to ongoing regulatory compliance.

To address storage tank compliance issues, Wilcox & Barton, Inc. first designed and installed a replacement heating oil AST for the facility Energy Center.  The design was expanded to provide increased fuel supply efficiency and allow simultaneous operation of oil and wood-fired boilers. As a component of fuel system upgrades, we also prepared a completely revised Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan for the entire facility in accordance with EPA regulations. Deficiencies identified during preparation of the SPCC plan led to the preparation of design plans and specifications for various replacement ASTs and AST upgrades throughout the facility. Construction of these upgrades is ongoing and is being managed and overseen by Wilcox & Barton, Inc.

During the EMS audit and additional internal file reviews, a total of 16 out-of-service underground storage tanks (USTs) that had been closed in place or removed without proper documentation were identified.  Wilcox & Barton, Inc. has overseen the removal and/or closure in place of four of these USTs in accordance with MassDEP regulations.  Petroleum releases identified during these closures have been investigated and remediated by Wilcox & Barton, Inc. under either LRA or Immediate Response Action (IRA) under the MCP with LSP oversight and permanent solutions with no conditions have been achieved. The remaining 12 UST locations are currently being investigated for compliance. 

With regard to water supply, we have addressed permit compliance issues identified by the state regulatory authority for several public wells on the property. Because the Abbey provides water for permanent residents, temporary residents, and transient visitors (while operating up to five different wells), the permitting situation is complicated.  Wilcox & Barton, Inc. collected data on all wells and treatment systems, prepared the required as-built plans, prepared an Emergency Response Plan, and brought all water supply aspects into compliance.

In 2015, Wilcox & Barton, Inc. was retained to redesign and construct a new Title V sanitary wastewater leach field. The original field had failed due to groundwater infiltration into the sanitary sewer distribution system.  We investigated, evaluated, and recommended repairs to the sanitary distribution system to eliminate groundwater infiltration. Repairs were completed prior to construction of the new leach field and included repairing or replacing manholes and over 2,000 feet of sanitary distribution piping. Innovative technologies such as pipe lining were implemented to reduce impacts to the monastic community. Following construction of the new leach field, Wilcox & Barton, Inc. Prepared and Operation and Maintenance Plan for the sanitary system to prevent future failures.

Throughout our engagement with the Abbey, Wilcox & Barton, Inc. has remained the "go to" consultant for the wide variety of environmental issues that arise on this complex facility.