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Release Date: 09/17/1999
Contact Information: Alice Kaufman, EPA Community Affairs Office, 617-918-1064

BOSTON -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's New England Office and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are sponsoring a business outreach open house on September 22, 1999 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for small businesses, local contractors, and small disadvantaged companies who may be eligible for subcontract work related to the New Bedford Harbor Superfund cleanup.

The Corps of Engineers' prime contractor, Foster Wheeler Environmental Corporation, will host the open house at the Days Inn of New Bedford on 500 Hathaway Road. Attendees will hear about Foster Wheeler's subcontract needs for the New Bedford Harbor Superfund cleanup and can submit information about their services to Foster Wheeler, as well as ask questions about the cleanup.

"EPA is committed to encouraging the utilization of small disadvantaged firms, local businesses and small companies in the New Bedford Harbor Superfund cleanup," said EPA's New England Administrator John DeVillars. "This open house is a good means of connecting area businesses with Foster Wheeler, the company contracted to undertake the cleanup work, and it is reflective of the partnership between the federal agencies and the New Bedford Harbor Superfund Site Community Forum, which was instrumental in organizing this event."

The New Bedford Harbor Superfund Site, listed on the Superfund National Priorities List in September 1983, is an 18,000 acre urban estuary reaching from the Acushnet River into Buzzards Bay. Its sediments are highly contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and heavy metals. The five worst acres of PCB-contaminated sediment were removed from the Acushnet River in 1994 and 1995 and placed in interim storage in a shoreline facility on Sawyer Street. These sediments will be removed and shipped to an off-site landfill by Spring of 2000. Phase two of the cleanup will involve the dredging of approximately 170 acres in the upper and lower harbors, resulting in the containment of around 450,000 cubic yards of PCB-contaminated sediments in four shoreline confined disposal facilities (CDFs). Construction of the first CDF is scheduled for Summer 2000 and dredging for Summer 2001