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Three Parties to Pay Nearly $2 Million for Clean-up at N. Dighton, Mass. Site

Release Date: 06/14/2010
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – June 14, 2010) – Three parties EPA has found responsible for cleaning up contaminated land known as the Winthrop Street Drums Site in North Dighton, have agreed to perform a removal action estimated at almost $2 million dollars.

The settlement, effective June 1, requires the three parties – Zeneca Inc., Waste Management Disposal Services of Massachusetts, Inc., and the Barbara Gustafson Trust – to complete a removal action that includes:
determining the extent of buried drums and contamination at the site;
identifying hazardous substances at the site;
removing hazardous substances in drums, other waste containers and contaminated soils to a licensed off-site disposal facility.

EPA has estimated that the removal work will cost about $1.8 million dollars. The settlement also requires the parties to reimburse EPA for more than $93,000 already spent at the site and to pay all future costs in the event the parties fail to complete the clean-up and EPA has to take over the work.

The site consists of about 90 acres of mostly wooded land in North Dighton that was once used for farming and as pasture. The site, owned by the Barbara Gustafson Trust and no longer in active use, includes a former farm on Wheeler Street and a residential property on Winthrop Street.

In September of 2009, based on a call from a trustee of the Gustafson Trust, EPA visited the site. The trustee, a daughter of the former owner, Edward Gustafson, provided information about drums and other containers of potentially hazardous waste materials buried at the site, most likely during the 1970s. EPA determined that a significant portion of the wastes came from a now-defunct chemical plant in Dighton, formerly operated by ICI Americas. The agency also found that a local waste hauler, Cal’s Transportation, transported wastes there. Zeneca and Waste Management Disposal Services of Massachusetts each are corporate successors to ICI Americas and Cal’s Transportation, respectively.

Based on EPA’s preliminary site investigation, the principal hazardous substances being released or posing a threat of release at the site appear to include VOCs (volatile organic compounds), inorganic compounds (metals), and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) found in containers, drums and soils. The clean-up is intended to fully address any public health or environment threats posed by the site.

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