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Consent Decree Entered for Atlas Tack Superfund Site in Fairhaven, MA

Release Date: 03/12/04
Contact Information: Contact: Stacy Greendlinger, EPA Community Affairs, (617-918-1403)

For Immediate Release: March 12, 2004; Release # 04-03-05

BOSTON - The US District Court in Massachusetts on March 1 entered a consent decree for the Atlas Tack Corporation Superfund site in Fairhaven, MA. Settling with the United States, on behalf of EPA, is Hathaway-Braley Wharf Co. Inc., which owns a small portion of the Superfund site at the end of Church Street.

Under the consent decree, Hathaway-Braley agreed to pay $501,575 into a special account to reimburse EPA for past and future response costs at the 24-acre site and to pay $51,125 to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for costs incurred by the state. Hathaway-Braley also agreed to grant EPA and the state access to the property to conduct the remedial design/remedial action for the property and to place an environmental easement limiting the permissible uses of the property. Finally, Hathaway-Braley agreed to place a conservation easement on the property and to pay $4,990 to the Department of the Interior and $510 to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in reimbursement of damage assessment costs.

“Hathaway-Braley’s willingness to step up to the plate and fulfill its legal responsibilities is a sign of progress at the Atlas Tack site,” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England Office. “We are encouraged by their participation and believe it is important that we continue to take enforcement steps to recoup cleanup costs from other responsible parties.”

Nationally, 70 percent of cleanup costs at Superfund sites are paid for by responsible parties.

The settlement provides for partial reimbursement of the costs incurred by EPA for investigation, pre-design work and cleanup work when it takes place. The lump sum payment resolves Hathaway-Braley’s liability for past and future costs. Atlas Tack was placed on the Superfund National Priorities List in 1990 and the remedial investigation/feasibility study was completed in 1998. The cleanup plan was finalized in 2000. To reduce a potential public health risk, EPA in 2000 removed hazardous asbestos from dilapidated portions of the Atlas Tack facility buildings.

The Atlas Tack Superfund site is located at 83 Pleasant St., an area zoned residential and commercial. The Atlas Tack facility was built in 1901 and operated as a manufacturer of cut and wire tacks, steel nails and similar items until 1985. Wastes containing cyanide and heavy metals were discharged into an unlined acid neutralizing lagoon located approximately 200 feet east of the manufacturing building and adjacent to a saltwater tidal marsh in Buzzards Bay Estuary. Process wastes containing acids, metals such as copper and nickel and solvents were discharged into drains in the floor of the main building. Some of these chemicals have permeated the floors and timbers of the building and have migrated to adjacent soils and groundwater. The Hathaway-Braley portion of the site includes a disposal area, adjacent to the Atlas Tack property, that received about 4,000 cubic yards of waste.

Related Information:
Atlas Tack Corp.
Fact Sheet

Superfund in New England