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EPA Order Will Spur Next Phase of Cleanup at Woburn, Mass. Superfund Site

Release Date: 08/20/2007
Contact Information: Paula Ballentine (617) 918-1027

Boston, Mass. - Aug. 20, 2007) – A Unilateral Administrative Order directing two parties to begin the second phase of cleanup activities to restore the Industri-plex Superfund Site in Woburn, Mass. was issued today by EPA.

The two parties receiving the Order are Stauffer Management Company, a successor to Stauffer Chemical Company, which manufactured glue at the Site, and Pharmacia Corporation, a successor to Merrimac Chemical Company, which manufactured chemicals at the Site.

The Order was issued because efforts to engage the parties in negotiations for performance of the cleanup work under a mutually acceptable agreement have been unsuccessful.

“EPA is committed to protecting the health, welfare and the environment of the citizens of Woburn. Conducting the second phase of cleanup activities is a very important step towards achieving final cleanup of the site, which has a history of over 100 years of industrial pollution,” said Robert Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office.

A comprehensive cleanup plan for the second phase at the Site, projected to cost $25.7 million to carry out, was announced by EPA in January 2006. The plan calls for the parties to addresses soil, sediment, groundwater, and surface water contamination at the Site.

This will include:

dredging and off-site disposal of contaminated sediments,
use of the northern portion of the Halls Brook Holding Area Pond as a sediment retention area,
establishing institutional controls to restrict contact with contaminated soils, groundwater, and sediments, and
construction of wetlands to compensate for wetlands impacted by the cleanup and long-term monitoring of the groundwater, surface water, and sediments.

To date EPA has invested over $11 million on the second phase investigation and cleanup plan at the Industri-plex Site.

Chemical and glue operations occurred from approximately 1853-1969 at the Site, which was added to the national Superfund list in 1983. The Site contains four animal hide piles capped as part of an earlier cleanup action, and includes portions of the Abjerjona River and associated wetlands. The Site is primarily contaminated with heavy metals such as arsenic, as well as ammonia, and volatile organic compounds such as benzene. More information on Industri-plex clean up: (https://www.epa.gov/region1/superfund/sites/industriplex )