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Settlement Reached at Morses Pond Culvert Site in Wellesley, Mass.

Release Date: 07/27/2009
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1010

(Boston, Mass – July 27, 2009) – The United States has reached an agreement with American Premier Underwriters, Inc. (APU) whereby APU has agreed to pay $2.9 million plus interest to reimburse EPA for a portion of its cleanup costs at the Morses Pond Culvert Site in Wellesley, Mass. The United States filed suit against APU in 2005 and the case has been in active litigation for several years.

The site includes a steeply sloped 35-foot high, earthen railroad embankment which passes over a culvert connecting Morses Pond to Paintshop Pond, an adjoining residential property, and sediments within a 0.2 acre cove of the pond at the mouth of the culvert.

APU is the successor in interest to the Boston & Albany Railroad as a result of a series of corporate mergers. The complaint alleged that the Boston & Albany Railroad owned the site at the time of the disposal of the chromium-contaminated material.

Between October 2000 and the middle of August 2002, EPA removed over 3,000 tons of chromium-contaminated soil and sediment and disposed of the material at a permitted facility. Soil that could not be excavated due to structural concerns around the culvert and railroad embankment was treated in place and covered with a low-permeability cap to reduce the chromium’s toxicity and limit its movement off-site and into the groundwater.

In 2005, the United States reached a settlement with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), the current owner of a portion of the site property. The MBTA also owns the railroad line that passes through the site and operates commuter trains along that line.

The agreement is subject to a 30-day public comment period which will begin on the date notice of the proposed settlement is published in the Federal Register.

More information on how to review or comment on the agreement:

Consent Decree may be examined on line (

During the public comment period, the proposed Consent Decree may be examined at:

Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts
Office of the United States Attorney
1 Courthouse Way
John Joseph Moakley Courthouse
Boston, Mass. 02210

United States Environmental Protection Agency - Region 1
1 Congress Street, Suite 1100
Boston, Mass. 02114-2023
Contact: Greg Dain, (617) 918-1884 or ( ) to set up an appointment.

Comments on the agreement should refer to United States v. American Premier Underwriters, Inc., DOJ Ref. 90-11-3-07035 and will be received by the Department of Justice for a period of thirty (30) days from the date the notice of the settlement is published in the Federal Register. Comments should be mailed to:

Assistant Attorney General
Environment and Natural Resources Division
Post Office Box 7611
United States Department of Justice
Washington, DC 20044-7611

In addition, a copy of the comments should be sent to:

Donald G. Frankel
Department of Justice
Suite 616
One Gateway Center
Newton, MA 02458

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