02 – What happens if contamination is found on the old rail bed?
The general procedures for identifying and mitigating contamination along rail trails have been worked out. The Mass. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a document entitled ΓÇ£Best Management PracticesΓÇ¥ that outlines the approach for identifying, managing and mitigating possible contamination in the rail bed. As part of negotiated lease or purchase agreements between the towns and the current owners of the rail bed, contamination liabilities would be addressed. The state has passed legislation that provides low-cost environmental insurance to communities that sign leases with EOT or the MBTA for conversion of rail beds into rail trails. To qualify for this insurance, the Town must refrain from doing any testing for contamination or other digging along the line until the insurance has been granted. A five-year environmental insurance policy with a $50,000 deductible would cost the Town $25K.