Mass. Super Fund site to be cleaned up following agreement‏

Nick Rees Dec. 28, 2009, 2:59am

Martha Coakley (D)

BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - Forty-nine parties have agreed to a settlement with Attorney General Martha Coakley and several government agencies to clean up the Tewksbury, Mass., Sutton Brook Disposal Area Superfund Site.

The site has been listed since 2001 on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Priorities List.

"The citizens of Tewksbury have had to live with the potential hazards of this site for many years," Coakley said. "We are pleased that today's agreement will not only allow cleanup work to begin, but will also require the responsible parties to reimburse taxpayer dollars already spent at the site."

The Sutton Brook Superfund Site -- located at the former Rocco's Landfill -- includes a 40-acre landfill with two large lobes and additional areas of contaminated soil. Sutton Brook flows between the two lobes.

Municipal, commercial and industrial waste has been disposed of at the site since at least 1957 and was accepted there until approximately 1988. MassDEP and EPA investigations begun in the 1980s revealed the presence of various contaminants, primarily volatile organic compounds and semi-volatile organic compounds in the groundwater, surface water, soil and sediments of the site.

Terms of the settlement, which was reached by Coakley, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the U.S. Department of Justice, require the parties to pay for clean up at the site and to compensate for Natural Resource Damages related to injury to groundwater and wetlands at the site. The settlement also resolves both state and federal liability claims.

"As the Commonwealth's natural resource trustee, I am extremely pleased that the cleanup of this Tewksbury hazardous waste site is getting underway and that a natural resource damage settlement has been reached to compensate for the groundwater and wetland resources injured by the contamination," Ian Bowles, EEA Secretary, said. "I applaud the multi-agency effort that produced today's settlement, under which those responsible for pollution at the Sutton Brook site will pay to fix it."

The settlement requires 20 of the 49 parties to finance and perform the clean up remedy, which was selected in the 2007 Record of Decision. That remedy is expected to cost approximately $29.98 million, which includes the cost of excavation and consolidation of contaminated soil and sediment, installation of a cap at two landfills and a vertical barrier for groundwater diversion. The remedy also requires a combination of natural attenuation and active treatment of contaminated groundwater as well as institutional controls and monitoring.

The 20 defendants responsible for the clean up include Amusement Industries Inc.; BASF Corporation; Boston and Maine Corporation; Browning-Ferris Industries Inc.; Allied Waste Systems Inc.; BFI Waste Systems of North America LLC; BTU International Inc.; E.I. DuPont De Nemours and Co.; Honeywell International Inc.; Mallinckrodt LLC; M/A-COM Inc.; Raytheon Company; Sears, Roebuck and Co.; Textron Systems Corp.; town of Tewksbury, Verizon New England Inc.; Waste Management of Massachusetts Inc.; Waste Management Disposal Services of Massachusetts Inc.; Waste Management of New Hampshire Inc. and Zeneca, Inc.

The other 29 parties will be responsible for cash payments toward the cost of financing the remedy and for other purposes.

The settlement also includes $512,000 to reimburse MassDEP's past response costs and an obligation to pay for future MassDEP and EPA oversight costs. An additional $1,650,000 will be paid in Natural Resource Damages to state and federal trustees to restore injured resources to their baseline condition, compensate for the interim loss to resources and reimburse the cost of conducting the damage assessments.

A novel agreement to promoted voluntary reductions in greenhouse emissions is also included in the settlement. Those reductions will be created during the construction and operation of the response action based on a potential cost savings evaluation.

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
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