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EPA to Hold Public Meeting to Discuss Nuclear Metals Site in Concord, MA

Release Date: 10/10/2003
Contact Information: Alice Kaufman, EPA Community Involvement Office, 617-918-1064

BOSTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MA DEP) are hosting a public information meeting on Tuesday, October 28, 2003 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Main Hearing Room in the Town House located at 22 Monument Square in Concord, Mass. to update the community on cleanup activities at the Nuclear Metals Superfund Site in West Concord.

In June, EPA entered into a $10 million agreement with five parties responsible for contamination of the site. The parties are: U.S. Army, the U.S. Department of Energy, Whittaker Corp., MONY Life Insurance Co., and Textron Inc. to conduct extensive studies at the site to determine cleanup options.

The U.S. EPA and MA DEP will update the public on the status of the site and representatives from de maximus, inc., the consultant working for the responsible party group at the site, will present an outline of investigations which are expected to begin later this year.

The studies, known as the Remedial Investigation/ Feasibility Study and Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analyses will include:

    • location and characterization of buried drums at the site;
    • investigation of site soils, sediment, surface water, and groundwater; and
    • development of cleanup alternatives for all areas that exceed risk-based cleanup levels.
From 1958 to the present, the site was used by various operators as a specialized research and metal manufacturing facility which was licensed to possess low-level radioactive substances. Site operators used depleted uranium (DU), beryllium and other hazardous substances at the site. From 1958 - 1985, DU-contaminated wastes were disposed of in an unlined holding basin. EPA has also identified other areas on the site that were used to dispose of manufacturing wastes, building materials, and laboratory equipment. The current site owner/operator, Starmet (formerly Nuclear Metals, Inc.), manufactured depleted uranium munitions for the U.S. Army at the site from the 1970s until 1999.

The Nuclear Metals Inc. site was added to the National Priority List (NPL) in June 2001, making it a Superfund site. The NPL is EPA's list of the country's most serious hazardous waste sites identified for possible long-term cleanup. The Superfund program makes public funds available to clean up listed toxic waste sites when private financing is unavailable.