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EPA Signs Agreement with GM for Site Cleanup

Release Date: 03/03/2003
Contact Information: Alice Kaufman, EPA Community Involvement Office, 617-918-1064

BOSTON - General Motors Corporation has signed a consent agreement with the EPA to immediately begin cleaning up contamination at a Bristol, Connecticut, site the company once owned.

The Bristol-Franklin site is located at 51-100 Franklin Street and has been used for manufacturing and equipment storage since the early 1900s. EPA first became involved in March, 2002, when the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (CT DEP) notified EPA that oil was breaking out of the embankment of a stream that borders the site, North Creek. Testing revealed that the oil contained polychlorinated biphenyls, commonly known as PCBs. Upon further investigation, CT DEP concluded that the source of oil was a subsurface plume located near one of the buildings on the site. EPA initiated its own investigation, which in addition to confirming CT DEP's findings, found friable asbestos in the pipe insulation within an above ground storage tank farm and in an accessible tunnel at the site. GM is believed to have used the building and the surrounding property to manufacture ball bearings from the early 1900s to the mid-1960s.

Under the consent agreement, GM will clean up PCB-contaminated oil and soil at the site, as well as remove friable asbestos from the tank farm and tunnel. Prior to beginning the cleanup, GM will immediately take over oil containment activities in North Creek from CT DEP.

"Each time a company steps up to the plate and assumes responsibility for cleaning up a property it once owned, it saves the taxpayers money in the long run. GM, in this case, will not only clean up the site, but will reimburse the Superfund $11,750 that EPA has spent already at the site, and pay for all of EPA's future costs in overseeing the cleanup," said Robert W. Varney, EPA New England regional administrator