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EPA and NH DES to Review Cleanup Progress at the Kearsarge Metallurgical Corporation Superfund Site

Release Date: 04/15/2003
Contact Information: Alice Kaufman, EPA Community Involvement Office, 617-918-1064

Boston--The United States Environmental Protection Agency and New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services are reviewing of the effectiveness of the cleanup remedy in place at the Kearsarge Metallurgical Corporation (KMC) Superfund Site in Conway, New Hampshire. Initial data show significant progress has been made in cleaning up contaminated groundwater.

The study, called a five year review, will ensure that the public and the environment are protected. This is the second five year review for the site.

Kearsarge Metallurgical Corporation manufactured precision stainless castings on this nine-acre site from 1964 until it went out of business in 1982. The site was placed on the EPA's National Priorities List in 1984 after investigations showed that groundwater under the site was contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including 1,1,1-trichloroethane (1,1,1 TCA). Evidence of industrial waste, which was produced from the cast-making processes (casting, cleaning, finishing, and pickling) were found on the site, including a large,15-foot-high pile of approximately 9,000 cubic yards of solid waste.

In 1990, EPA issued a cleanup plan called a Record of Decision (ROD) requiring that the waste piles be removed and that the groundwater be treated. As a pilot for the Superfund Accelerated Cleanup Model (SACM) initiative, the waste pile was removed by fall of 1992. A groundwater pump and treat facility has been operating continuously since the fall of 1993. An evaluation of the groundwater monitoring data shows that the treatment system has made progress towards attaining the groundwater clean up levels for the site. The Hobbs Street extraction area data shows that clean up levels should be achieved in the near future.

EPA's team is reviewing the reports prepared by the NHDES and is additionally:

    • collecting information from local officials (zoning changes);
    • reviewing monitoring reports to evaluate how cleanup levels are being met;
    • conducting site visits to inspect the remedy components;
    • assessing records and reports.
The review team will evaluate the information gathered and then make a determination as to whether the remedy is protective or not protective of public health and the environment. The team will then publish a five year review report that explains its findings after the five year review is complete. The five year review process should be complet this year, followed by a final report which will be made available to the public.

More information about cleanup activities at the site may be found on the EPA New England web site at: EPA technical reports and documents are available for public review in the site information repository located at the Conway Public Library located on Main Street in Conway, New Hampshire and at EPA offices located at 1 Congress Street, Boston, MA.