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News Releases from Region 01

EPA Celebrates Sustainability Improvements at N. Dartmouth, Mass. Superfund Site

Contact Information: 
Kelsey ONeil (oneil.kelsey@epa.gov)

BOSTON - EPA joined local officials to celebrate the implementation of a sustainable groundwater cleanup system and the installation of solar panels at the ReSolve Superfund site in North Dartmouth, Mass. The groundwater cleanup is happening through an innovative biological treatment process that is fully powered by solar panels at the site.

The site operated as chemical reclamation facility between 1956 and 1980, and included a distillation tower, unlined lagoons and oil land farming. The surrounding community relies on private wells for drinking water. Since 1985, EPA has overseen 3 cleanup actions at the site.

EPA and the Re- Solve Site Group have collaboratively explored sustainable treatment enhancements to the traditional groundwater "Pump & Treatment" system on the Site. Two "Anaerobic Bio-Reactor" (ABR) systems have been developed. These are underground, contained, biological treatment beds where the native microbes consume chlorinated volatile organic compounds (cVOCs). This is a natural treatment process that minimizes the use of process chemicals and waste disposal. A further enhancement is that 644 solar panels provide 100 percent of the power needed to run the groundwater treatment system.

"EPA is very proud of the track record our Superfund program has with working to clean up sites with complex contamination issues all across New England," said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA's New England office. "I am especially pleased to be here in North Dartmouth celebrating this innovative groundwater treatment system that will provide a sustainable and environmentally-preferable approach to the ongoing cleanup at the Resolve Superfund Site."

"The ReSolve Site is an example of how targeted investments can lead to reversing the carbon footprint of existing infrastructure. We should look to the work of the EPA and North Dartmouth as a model for promoting sustainable practices and energy use. It was a pleasure to view the site today and learn about their effective work," said Congressman Bill Keating.

EPA has completed an "Explanation of Significant Difference" which documents the new ABR systems and the solar energy system as a sustainable modification to the ongoing groundwater cleanup. A copy of the document can be found at the Southworth Library, South Dartmouth, or on-line at www3.epa.gov/region1/superfund/sites/resolve/582461.pdf

Annual Cornell Pond Fishing Derby

Registration is open for the annual Cornell Pond Fishing Derby in North Dartmouth, Mass. The derby takes place at Cornell Pond on Sat., Oct. 3 between 7:00 a.m. and 12:00 Noon. In case of inclement weather, the derby may be moved to Sunday, Oct. 4.

The first twenty local fishermen who sign up will be able to participate in the fish monitoring event. Weston Solutions Inc., will oversee the fishing derby and distribute awards for the largest fish caught. All participants over the age of 15 must have a current Massachusetts Fishing License to participate in the derby.

This fishing derby is part of EPA's community outreach regarding the Re-Solve Inc. Superfund Site. The Re-Solve Inc. site is on North Hixville Road in North Dartmouth and was listed as a Superfund Site in 1983 when extensive PCB and volatile organic compounds were discovered in the soil and groundwater. A groundwater treatment system was installed in 1998 and continues to treat contaminated groundwater and prevents contamination from migrating from the site. The facility will operate until groundwater is cleaned to appropriate levels.

Since 1988, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MassDPH) has maintained a fish advisory for Cornell Pond and the Copicut River due to elevated levels of PCBs in fish. Catch and release fishing is permitted in the pond and river.

The Cornell Pond Fishing Derby intends to keep the local community involved in the fish monitoring program, an essential part of the annual assessment of environmental conditions and improvement at the pond. The derby also helps to serve as a reminder for local residents of the MassDPH fish advisory that is still in effect.

More Information:

  • For registration, directions and any additional information please contact:
    Michael O'Reilly, Environmental Coordinator for the Town of Dartmouth at (508) 910-1822; Arthur Thibodeau, community fishing derby coordinator at (508) 678-5054; or James Saylors, Weston Solutions, assistant fishing derby coordinator at (508) 998-4796.
  • - Cleanup of the ReSolve Superfund site (www.epa.gov/superfund/resolve)