NORTH PROVIDENCE, R.I. — From the outside, Centredale Manor resembles most other assisted-living facilities. It has 123 bedrooms, and houses elderly and low-income residents. It rests comfortably on the eastern banks of the Woonasquatucket River, not far from the mom-and-pop shops in the village of Centredale. Town Hall and Route 44 are a stone’s throw away.
The Smith Street facility is also a Superfund site, built on top of or near some of the state’s most toxic dirt. A legacy of Rhode Island’s manufacturing era, the Centredale Manor site was once a dumping ground for untold amounts of hazardous chemicals and other waste. Three-plus decades of industrial polluting from chemical production and drum reconditioning created one of the most toxic Superfund sites in New England.