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U.S. v. Wildwood Conservation Corp. (Wells G & H) (D. Mass.)
Dots on a map represent water samples taken from teh Wells G&H Superfund Site in Woburn, Mass., September 2004.  Source: Five-Year Review Report, EPA.

Contaminated Ground Water in Woburn, Massachusetts

The Environmental Enforcement Section (EES), along with our partners at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, negotiated a ground-breaking settlement which brought about the cleanup of the soils and groundwater at the Wells G & H Superfund Site, located in Woburn, Massachusetts.

The Wells G & H Site encompasses municipal drinking water wells that used to provide drinking water to the residents of Woburn, Massachusetts. This Site became infamous in New England because of the deaths of a number of children and adults in Woburn who were exposed to the groundwater; their families sued the companies that contributed to the contamination of these municipal wells.

The story of the lawsuit brought by the Woburn families against the companies that contaminated the environment became the subject of a prominent book called “A Civil Action” by Jonathan Harr and a movie by that same name.

Settlement of Enforcement Action

In 1991, EES, along with our enforcement partners, negotiated a settlement with a number of the companies that contaminated the environment at the Wells G & H Site. The settlement required the defendants to clean up the contaminated soils and groundwater at four separate parcels of land located on the Site.

At the time the settlement was approved:

  • it was the largest settlement of a Superfund case in New England history; and

  • resulted in the performance of almost $70 million in work to clean up the environment and money paid to the Governments to reimburse them for the costs they had spent at this Site.

Last Updated: November 2010