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EPA Finds Cleanup to be Effective at Conway, NH, Superfund Site

Release Date: 11/12/2003
Contact Information: Alice Kaufman, EPA Community Involvement Office, 617-918-1064

Boston-The United States Environmental Protection Agency today confirmed that the soil and groundwater remedies already in place at the Kearsarge Metallurgical Corporation (KMC) Superfund Site in Conway, New Hampshire, continue to be effective and protective of human health.

The study, called a five-year review, was undertaken to assess soil and groundwater treatment remedies at two main contaminant source areas of the site. This is the second five-year review for the KMC site.

From 1964 to 1982, precision stainless castings were manufactured on this nine-acre site. A 20- foot high pile of approximately 9,000 cubic yards of foundry waste containing ceramic sand, scrap metal, rusted drums, and various other refuse from foundry operations was left on site, as well as numerous waste-containing drums. Groundwater was contaminated with volatile organic compounds used in the manufacturing process. The site was placed on EPA's National Priorities List in 1984.

In 1990, EPA issued a cleanup decision, called a Record of Decision, requiring that the on-site waste piles be removed and the groundwater be treated. By fall 1992, EPA had removed the two large waste piles, a septic tank and its contents, and contaminated soils from a leach field on the site and transported the wastes off site for disposal. EPA has been operating a groundwater treatment facility at the site continuously since the fall of 1993.

In EPA's report, the agency found that the cleanup remedy remains protective of public health and the environment, and that overall groundwater contamination levels are declining. However, in order for the remedy to be protective in the long term, additional actions need to be taken.

In 2003 EPA revised the cleanup decision in order to speed up the groundwater cleanup by improving the existing extraction system. A large trench will be installed in the culvert area of the site, where 1,1,1-Trichloroethane exceedances have been found and a groundwater extraction trench will be constructed where the contaminated source materials are removed, resulting in an improved groundwater capture system.

More information about cleanup activities at the Kearsarge Metallurgical Corporation site may be found on the EPA New England web site at: