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Construction work to start at the Sutton Brook Disposal Area Superfund site in Tewksbury, Mass.

Release Date: 05/12/2014
Contact Information: Sarah White, (617) 918-1026

BOSTON – On May 19, 2014 EPA will mobilize for construction work at the Sutton brook Disposal Area Superfund site in Tewksbury. Planned work includes excavation and consolidation of contaminated soil and sediments which will be then be placed under a landfill cap. The construction work is expected to continue into 2016.

What residents should expect: During the initial mobilization to the site, beginning on Monday May 19, office trailers and construction equipment will be delivered to the site along with loads of aggregate/gravel which will be used to provide a stable surface for the office trailers. These deliveries (approximately 40 total) will take place during the weeks of May 19 and May 26 with the majority of the deliveries occurring during the week of May 19. Following mobilization the site will be active and regular periodic deliveries of supplies, materials and equipment will occur.

While construction is underway, all excavation and consolidation of contaminated soils and sediments will be confined to the site and no contaminated soil or sediment will be moved off site. Clean fill and other construction materials will be trucked in for the purpose of capping the landfill’s northern and Southern lobes. EPA expects that transport of fill involving significant truck traffic will begin in late June, and the Agency will provide area residents with advance notice of the increase in truck traffic.

To ensure the safety of residents, safety measures will be implemented during construction period. Trucks will be washed down prior to leaving the site to minimize tracking of soils off site (trucks will already have been decontaminated on-site if they entered and exited contaminated areas of the site). Trucks must obey all posted speed limits while traveling on roads in residential area. EPA is working with the Town of Tewksbury on additional safety measures.

The estimated cleanup schedule is as follows (almost all construction activity will take place between April and November):

During 2014: Trucks will be hauling clean fill and other capping material to the Southern Lobe of the site. Contaminated soils will be consolidated and capped in the landfill. The vertical barrier will be constructed and most of the Southern Lobe will be capped. Operation of groundwater extraction system is expected to begin in the fall.

During 2015: Trucks will be hauling clean fill and other capping materials to the Northern Lobe of the site. Capping of both the Southern and Northern Lobes will be completed.

During 2016: Primarily completion of access roads, wetlands restoration and fencing.

In September 2007, EPA selected a comprehensive remedy for the site valued at approximately $30 million. The major components of the remedy selected in the September 2007 Record of Decision (ROD) include the following components:
• Excavation of contaminated soils exceeding site-specific cleanup levels from the Former Drum Disposal Area and the former Garage and Storage Area;
• Excavation of contaminated soils and sediments exceeding site-specific cleanup levels from a portion of Sutton Brook between the two landfill lobes;
• Consolidation of excavated soils and sediments along with other debris adjacent to the landfills into the landfills;
• Construction of a low permeability cap over both landfill lobes, including systems to collect and manage gases and stormwater from the landfills;
• Construction of a vertical barrier to intercept groundwater from the southern landfill to prevent it from entering Sutton Brook;
• Collection and treatment of contaminated groundwater from an area west of the southern landfill lobe;
• Monitored natural attenuation of areas of groundwater contamination not captured by the extraction system, with a contingency to expand the area of active groundwater remediation, if necessary;
• Institutional controls such as deed restrictions and/or local ordinances to prevent unacceptable exposures to wastes left in place and to restrict exposure to contaminated groundwater until cleanup levels are met; and
• Long-term groundwater, surface water, and sediment monitoring, and periodic five-year reviews of the remedy.

The Sutton Brook Disposal Area site, also known as Rocco Disposal and Dump or Rocco’s Landfill, was listed on the EPA’s National Priorities List (NPL) in June 2001. Rocco’s Landfill began operations in the early 1950's. Although the landfill was ordered closed by the Town in 1979, waste disposal continued into the 1980's. The site includes a parcel of about 100 acres on which the landfill and a former drum disposal area are located. During operations, the landfill accepted municipal, commercial and industrial wastes. Numerous investigations of the site by local, state, and federal organizations have revealed the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), semi volatile organic compounds (SVOCs), pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and inorganic elements in on-site and off-site ground water, surface water, sediment, soil, and VOCs and SVOCs in air samples.

More information and technical reports on the cleanup at the Sutton Brook Disposal Area Superfund site:

Information and on upcoming Site activities will be posted to the following websites: the Town of Tewksbury, The Town Crier and The Patch. In addition, this information will also be emailed to interested parties. Individuals or organizations that would like to receive email updates for the Sutton Brook Superfund site, should contact EPA representative Sarah White at (

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NOTE: 13 May 2014: This document edited for clarity; removed the word "contractors" from first sentence.