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UPDATED: Fire Debris Clean-Up Awaits Final Approval

A spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection said the soonest cleanup of the fire site could "conceivably" start is Friday.

As it turns out, state environmental officials  have yet to grant final approval for an asbestos abatement plan to haul away debris leftover from the to the .

No start date has been scheduled for the debris removal, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Spokesman Joe Ferson said today.

The DEP has received a draft plan for the removal project but had questions about it and awaits a response to them from the contractor before the agency grants  project approval, Ferson said.

Once debris removal starts, the DEP will conduct random checks at the site to be sure the plan is being followed, he said.

Regulations require asbestos testing twice a day at six locations at the perimeter of the site, he said.

It will take two to three hours to get results from the testing.

He said clean-up rules require water to be sprayed on the debris during its removal to keep dust down and prevent asbestos fibers from going airborne.

Ferson said this is an industry best practice that has been shown to prevent asbestos from going airborne.

Trucks that haul away the material will be washed down before they leave the site, he said.

Property owner said Monday that she had selected The Total Group of Swampscott for the fire debris removal at the corner of Humphrey Street and Redington Street.

She expected the work would start Wednesday morning.

But Ferson said today the soonest that work could "conceivably" begin is Friday.

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