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EPA Awards Grant to Woburn Community Group

Release Date: 06/16/2003
Contact Information: Alice Kaufman, EPA Community Involvement Office, 617-918-1064

BOSTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that it has awarded the Aberjona Study Coalition, Inc. a $100,000 Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) for the Aberjona River study which is part of both the IndustriPlex and Wells G & H Superfund sites in Woburn, Massachusetts.

When Congress wrote the Superfund law, they wisely included a provision that provides financial resources for citizens to participate in the many decisions affecting their communities," said Robert W. Varney. "I look forward to the opportunity to work with the Aberjona Study Coalition in these final years of cleanup of these two sites."

"The Aberjona Study Coalition, Inc., is pleased to have been awarded the EPA Technical Assistance Grant," said Linda Raymond, treasurer of the Aberjona River Coalition, Inc. "A technical assistant will assist us in assimilating the technical information so that we can better afford the 225,000 residents who border the Aberjona River Watershed a comprehensive understanding of the present day risks to human health and the environment the Aberjona River poses from the two Woburn superfund sites."

The Aberjona watershed includes the communities of Arlington, Medford, Reading, Stoneham, Wilmington, Winchester, and Woburn. Represented on the Board of Directors of Aberjona River Study Coalition, Inc. are the Woburn Neighborhood Association, Inc., Mystic River Watershed Association, Woburn Residents Environmental Network, Medford Boat Club, Friends of the Upper Mystic Lake, and Concerned Citizens Network.

Recognizing the importance of community involvement and the need for citizens living near Superfund sites to be well informed, Technical Assistance Grants provide funds for qualified citizen's groups to hire independent technical advisors.

The Aberjona Study Coalition, Inc. plans to use a consultant to interpret data and reports on the upcoming remedial investigation, feasibility study, cleanup decisions, and any other reports and documents that are generated about these two sites. The group also plans to keep residents of these communities informed by newsletters, meetings and Internet website of activities, decisions and outcomes at these two sites.

EPA has recently released a draft baseline human health risk assessment for the Aberjona River study area. The study looks at potential risks to members of the public who come into contact with the sediment, soils, or surface water, or consume fish within the study area.