Zoning Archives Regulations

Activity & Use Limitation: Background Info

Introduction to the Activity & Use Limitation (AUL)

on the IQHQ (former W. R. Grace) Site:

What is an Activity and Use Limitation (AUL)?

The AUL is a deed restriction filed with the Registry of Deeds, which restricts activities and uses, whoever the property owner. The AUL can be amended or even removed with the approval of the state Dept. of Environmental Protection. W. R. Grace’s final AUL is dated February 2006.

What is a Public Involvement Plan (PIP)?

The updated PIP ensures that the public will be notified of activities that would significantly disturb soil that may be contain asbestos. It also ensures that the public will have a voice in developing plans for containing the asbestos if any such activities are planned, such as during possible future development of the site. June 2006 is the date of the PIP.

How did the AUL and the PIP come to be on the W.R. Grace site?

In 2004 several vice presidents of W.R. Grace contacted the Alewife Study Group and asked that we work together to define both an AUL and a PIP for this 27-acre site. After many meetings and negotiations, neighbors represented by the Alewife Study Group and W.R. Grace agreed to the following AUL.

This coming together of neighbors and the corporation was predicated on neighbors working together from 1995 to 2004 to research the site, test the soil and monitor the site. Our sister group, the non-profit Alewife Neighbors, Inc. (ANI) secured three consecutive one-year Technical Assistance Grants from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to, together with the City of Cambridge and W.R. Grace, test the soil for asbestos and hydrocarbons and communicate the findings with neighbors.

Through this funding, Alewife Neighbors hired a Licensed Site Professional (LSP) to oversee collection of the soil and air samples and to perform independent analyses of samples shared with the consultants hired by W.R. Grace and the City of Cambridge. ANI The Licensed Site Professional reviewed the documentation provided by the consultants hired by W.R. Grace. In addition, ANI put out a quarterly newsletter for North Cambridge neighbors. The soil was found to be heavily contaminated with asbestos and hydrocarbons.