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EPA Sues Atlas Tack for $25 Million in Cleanup Costs at Fairhaven, Mass. Site

Release Date: 09/22/2003
Contact Information: Alice Kaufman, EPA Community Involvement Office, 617-918-1064

BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it has filed suit against the Atlas Tack Corporation and M. Leonard Lewis, president of Atlas Tack and owner of Atlas Tack's parent company, for cleanup costs at the Atlas Tack Superfund site in Fairhaven, Mass. The complaint, filed in federal district court in Boston, seeks $6.8 million to reimburse EPA for cleanup activities already performed, and seeks an order for payment for future cleanup costs, currently estimated to be $18 million.

"We're working hard to make sure that the cleanup costs at the Atlas Tack site aren't going to be borne by the taxpayers, but by those responsible for the pollution," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator for EPA's New England Office.

The Atlas Tack facility was used from 1901 to 1985 to manufacture tacks, steel nails, rivets, eyelets and bolts. Portions of the 20-acre parcel and adjoining areas are contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), heavy metals, pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). In 1990, EPA added the site to the National Priorities List, or Superfund List, of the most-contaminated sites in the country.

In 2000, EPA completed the removal asbestos from three dilapidated buildings on the site to remove immediate public health threats. In 2002, EPA substantially completed design of a long-term cleanup plan for the site, which includes demolishing two contaminated buildings; removing 54,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil, debris and sediments for disposal at a licensed, offsite facility; remediation and restoration of salt marsh soils; and long-term water quality monitoring. EPA New England has requested funding for this future work.