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Release Date: 06/22/1998
Contact Information: Leo Kay, Press Office, (617)918-4154

BOSTON -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency invites the public to comment on proposed changes to the cleanup plan for the Tibbetts Road Superfund Site in Barrington, N.H.

Over the past three years, a vacuum extraction system has reduced contaminant levels significantly in groundwater at the site. As a result, the EPA is proposing to discontinue use of this groundwater cleanup technology in favor of using more natural processes. The cleanup would continue to remove remaining low-level contamination and would regularly monitor groundwater quality.

The public is invited to attend a public information meeting and public hearing to explain the plan on Wednesday, June 24 at 7 p.m. in the Barrington Elementary School library on Route 125. The public is invited to offer comments during the hearing portion of the evening.

If approved and finalized the Ford Motor Company would continue to perform cleanup activities at the site.

The plan includes maintaining an established cover of poplar trees to lower the water table and prevent the movement of remaining groundwater contamination. Natural pre-existing microorganisms would more effectively digest volatile organic contamination.

The reasons for the EPA's decision to propose these changes are:

    • Drums, contaminated soil and debris have been removed and are no longer releasing contamination to the groundwater.
    • The vacuum extraction system that was tested at the site was extremely successful, removing 800 pounds of contaminants. Contaminant levels have decreased to a point where the system is no longer effective.
    • If groundwater can be held on site, natural pre-existing microorganisms will more effectively consume and remove remaining contamination.
The EPA will respond to comments in its final record of decision document that finalizes a plan following public comment. For further information contact EPA Community Involvement Coordinator Sarah White at (617) 918-1026 or 1-888-EPAREG1.

A copy of the Amended Proposed Plan along with other technical documents will be available at the Barrington Public Library, 39 Province Lane in Barrington, NH and at the EPA Records Center, 90 Canal Street in Boston. The EPA will accept comments on the plan from June 25 through July 24.

The Tibbetts Road Site was used for storing drums collected from 1944 to 1958. Many of the drums were leaking and rusted, and contained thinners, solvents, PCBs and other hazardous materials.

The EPA removed all of the deteriorating drums in 1984, yet the site still posed a threat to local drinking water supplies. The EPA designated the two-acre site a Superfund site in 1986.