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Two Mass. Sites Added to National Superfund List, and One N.H. Site Proposed to be Listed

Release Date: 05/21/2013
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – May 21, 2013) – EPA today is adding two Massachusetts sites to the National Priorities List (NPL) of Superfund sites, and is proposing to add one New Hampshire site as well. Superfund is the federal program that investigates and cleans up the most complex, uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country to protect people’s health and the environment.

The former Walton & Lonsbury Inc. facility in Attleboro, Mass. and the former Creese & Cook Tannery in Danvers, Mass. have been added to the list. The former Collins & Aikman Plant in Farmington, N.H. has been proposed for consideration.

“Adding these two sites to the national Superfund list allows EPA to begin addressing contamination issues on these parcels. Superfund has been very effective cleaning contaminated lands across the country, ensuring cleaner and healthier communities,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office.

“These heavily contaminated sites in Attleboro and Danvers will one day be clean enough to be redeveloped and help boost the Massachusetts economy,” said Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan. “We thank our partners at the EPA for listing these sites as priorities, helping us to protect our residents and the environment.”

The former Walton & Lonsbury site housed a chrome plating facility, formerly operated by Walton & Lonsbury, Inc. While in operation from 1940-2007, the facility was used to chrome plate oversized objects such as pistons for large hydraulic equipment or rollers for paper mills. A number of chemicals and chemical compounds were used and left as waste in the operations process. The contaminants of concern on the site include total chromium, hexavalent chromium, lead and volatile organic compounds. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts referred the site to EPA because it poses a serious risk to human health and the environment and because the former Walton & Lonsbury Inc. is bankrupt. EPA has been working on a removal action since 2010 to address the most immediate risks. The NPL listing allows EPA to address long-term risks.

The former Creese & Cook Tannery property is comprised of three parcels and a portion of a fourth parcel (a railroad right-of-way) totaling approximately 17 acres of land situated along opposite banks of the Crane River in Danvers, Mass. At one time, the four parcels were owned by the Creese & Cook Company being used as a leather tanning and finishing operation from 1903 until 1981, when the company went bankrupt. Solid wastes from the manufacturing process were disposed of in two onsite landfills. Liquid effluent was discharged directly to the Crane River and later to sewers, while sludge waste was deposited in an on-site lagoon system. The former Creese & Cook Tannery property was later subdivided and one of the three parcels has been redeveloped into a condominium complex. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts referred the site to EPA because it poses a serious risk to human health and the environment and because there are no funds available to continue work.

The next steps for the two Massachusetts sites, as with all NPL sites, is for EPA to identify companies or people responsible for the contamination at a site, and require them to conduct or pay for the cleanup. For the newly listed sites without viable potentially responsible parties, EPA will investigate the full extent of the contamination before starting significant cleanup at the site. Therefore, it may be several years before significant EPA clean up funding is required for these sites.

The former Collins & Aikman Plant in Farmington, N.H. was also formally proposed to be added to the NPL. This action initiates a 60-day public comment period. Following the public comment period, EPA will review comments received to determine if the site should be listed on the NPL. The Collins & Aikman Plant itself was a former automotive parts manufacturing facility. The facility is a source for groundwater contamination in the area. The State of New Hampshire has referred the site to EPA for review because the site poses risk to the environment and human health. Collins & Aikman Co. is bankrupt, leaving no money to continue the investigation and implement a comprehensive cleanup in the future.

Since 1983, EPA has listed 1,685 sites on the NPL. At 1,145 or 68 percent of NPL sites, all cleanup remedies are in place. Approximately 610 or 36 percent of NPL sites have all necessary long-term protections in place, which means EPA considers the sites protective for redevelopment or reuse.

More information:

Federal Register notices and supporting documents for the final and proposed sites:

How a site is listed on the NPL:

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