WASHINGTON—A multi-party settlement involving the federal government will ensure that cleanup efforts proceed at the Shpack Landfill Superfund site in the towns of Norton and Attleboro, Mass., the Justice Department and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today.
The defendants signing the agreement include: the City of Attleboro, Mass.; Avnet Inc.; Bank of America N.A. (Trustee u/w of Lloyd G. Balfour); BASF Catalysts LLC (formerly known as Engelhard Corporation); Chevron Environmental Management Company (for itself and on behalf of Kewanee Industries Inc.); ConocoPhillips Co.; Handy & Harman; International Paper Co.; KIK Custom Products, Inc. (formerly known as CCL Custom Manufacturing Inc.); Town of Norton, Mass.; Swank Inc.; Teknor Apex Co.; Texas Instruments Inc.; and Waste Management of Massachusetts Inc.
Under terms of a consent decree lodged in the U.S. District Court in Boston, the defendants will perform the remainder of the site-wide cleanup of chemical wastes and other contaminants. The work is estimated to cost $29 million.
The site is contaminated with both chemical and radioactive wastes as a result of landfill operations at the site. In addition to performing cleanup work, the defendants will pay up to $2.9 million for EPA’s costs. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers currently is cleaning up the radioactive contamination, which is expected to be completed during the fall of 2010. While the Army Corps cleanup continues, the defendants will perform design work, ecological studies and other activities. Once the radioactive soil cleanup is completed by the Army Corps, the defendants will move forward with the excavation of the remaining contaminated soils.
"Today’s agreement is a step forward to make certain this site is ultimately cleaned up," said Michael Guzman, Principle Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. "The Justice Department, along with the EPA and the Army Corps, will continue to work to ensure that this site and others are restored by the parties responsible for the pollution."
"This settlement ensures that after the Army Corps completes the radiological cleanup, the remainder of the Shpack Landfill cleanup will move forward," said Robert Varney, regional administrator for EPA’s New England office.
Under the terms of the settlement, the defendants have agreed to implement the September 2004 cleanup decision for the site. Among other measures, the defendants will prepare design plans; excavate contaminated soil and sediment, with off-site disposal; restore wetlands; implement a surface, sediments and groundwater monitoring program; extend the public water supply line to two residences adjacent to the site; and place restrictions on uses of the site property and groundwater.
The Shpack Landfill is a 9.4 acre site located in the Norton and Attleboro, Mass. A portion of the site known as the Dumont parcel operated as a town dump from 1946 to 1965. The Shpack portion of the site received waste from 1946 to 1975. During its operation, the landfill received industrial and household waste including chemical and radioactive wastes. In 1978, a citizen reported the disposal of radioactive items at the landfill. Subsequent site investigations revealed contaminants including volatile organic compounds, PCBs, heavy metals and radioactive wastes. EPA listed the Shpack Landfill on the Superfund "National Priorities List" in 1986. Remedial investigation work was conducted during the 1990’s by some of the responsible parties.
As part of this agreement, the Town of Norton will provide access and institutional controls for the parcel of land it owns on the site.
The proposed consent decree, lodged in the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts, is subject to a 30-day comment period and final court approval. The proposed consent decree is available on the Justice Department Web site at www.usdoj.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html.