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EPA Reaches Agreement with 25 Parties to Study Contamination at Tewksbury, MA Waste Site

Release Date: 02/13/04
Contact Information: Contact: Peyton Fleming, EPA Press Office, (617) 918-1008

For Immediate Release: February 13, 2004; Release # 04-02-12

BOSTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that it has reached an agreement with 25 parties potentially responsible for contamination of the 100-acre Sutton Brook Disposal Area Superfund site in Tewksbury, MA. The agreement calls for the parties to conduct extensive studies to determine the nature and extent of contamination at the site and evaluate alternatives for remediating contaminated areas. It also requires that EPA be reimbursed for its oversight costs.

"This settlement with the responsible parties is an important step forward in this cleanup project," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA's New England Office. "This agreement will ensure that we fully understand environmental problems at the site so that a comprehensive cleanup plan can be developed."

Varney praised a local citizen group, T.O.X.I.C., for its role so far in the project. "EPA owes a debt of gratitude to the Townspeople Organized Against Illness and Contamination, a citizen group that has been diligent in keeping our feet to the fire on this project and patient while we took the necessary time to negotiate this agreement. We look forward to working with the community as this project moves forward."

The studies will include:

    • investigation of site soils, sediment, surface water and groundwater;
    • characterization of the risks posed to public health and the environment by the site; and
    • development of cleanup alternatives for all areas that exceed risk-based cleanup levels.
    • After reviewing the results of these and other studies, EPA will determine a cleanup plan for the site.
The former landfill operated between the early 1950s and the 1980s. The site was added to the Superfund National Priorities List in 2001. It includes the parcel of about 100 acres on which the landfill and an adjacent drum disposal area are located. During its operations, the landfill accepted municipal, commercial and industrial wastes. The drum disposal area was the location of a removal action performed in 2000-2002 by EPA and several potentially responsible parties to excavate and dispose of crushed drums and associated soils contaminated with volatile organic and semi-volatile organic compounds. EPA has spent $4.25 million to date at the site.

Related Information:
Sutton Brook Disposal Area Fact Sheet
Superfund in New England