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Cleanup Work Set to Proceed at Industri-Plex Site in Woburn, Mass.

Release Date: 01/13/2009
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1010

(Boston, Mass. – Jan. 13, 2009) – A comprehensive settlement between the federal government, the Pharmacia Corporation and Bayer CropScience Inc. was entered by the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The settlement, contained in a Consent Decree, ensures the second phase of cleanup actions at the Industri-Plex Superfund Site in Woburn, Mass. will proceed.

The estimated $25.7 million cleanup plan addresses soil, sediment, gr
oundwater and surface water contamination at the site. The site is primarily contaminated with heavy metals such as arsenic, as well as ammonia, and volatile organic compounds such as benzene.

The settlement calls for the companies to pay EPA’s future oversight costs, as well as to reimburse the United States Treasury for past response costs plus interest. Under the terms of the Consent Decree, the settling parties are required to implement the January 2006 “Record of Decision,” a comprehensive cleanup plan for the second phase at the site. The plan calls for the parties to address soil, sediment, groundwater and surface water contamination at the site. EPA will work closely with
the City of Woburn and the local community as this work progresses.

Work required under the settlement includes: dredging and off-site disposal of contaminated sediments; modifying an existing pond as a treatment and sediment retention area; establishing
land use restrictions where needed; constructing wetlands to compensate for wetlands impacted by the cleanup; and long-term monitoring of the groundwater, surface water and sediments to ensure that clean up measures continue to protect human health and the environment.

Chemical and glue operations occurred at the Woburn, Mass. site for more than a century, from approximately 1853 to 1969. The Industri-Plex site was added to the national Superfund list in 1983 due to soil, sediment and water contamination from heavy metals including arsenic, ammonia and volatile organic compounds such as benzene. The site contains four animal hide piles capped as part of an earlier cleanup action, and includes portions of the Aberjona River and associated wetlands.

Pharmacia Corporation is a successor to the Monsanto Company, which manufactured chemicals at the site. Bayer CropScience Inc. is a successor to Stauffer Chemical Company, which manufactured glue products at the site.

More information:
EPA's Industri-Plex Superfund Site Web site (