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EPA to Review Cleanup Progress at Auburn Road Landfill Superfund Site in Londonderry, NH

Release Date: 08/28/2002
Contact Information: Peyton Fleming, EPA Press Office, 617-918-1008

BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it is undertaking a review of the effectiveness of soil and groundwater treatment remedies in place at the Auburn Road Landfill Superfund site in Londonderry, N.H.

The study, called a five-year review, is to ensure that the soil and groundwater treatment remedies employed in three principal contaminant source areas of the site are effectively protecting the public health and environment. This is the third five-year review for the Auburn Road Landfill site.

The Auburn Road Landfill Superfund site was placed on the EPA's National Priorities (Superfund) List in 1983 after investigations showed evidence of the disposal of industrial waste at the site. From 1965 to 1980, the site operated as a municipal solid waste landfill accepting all waste.

EPA removed 1,900 drums from the site in 1996 and one year later issued a Record of Decision requiring the Town of Londonderry to connect potentially affected homes to a municipal water source and to fence the property. EPA removed an additional 316 drums in 1988. A second Record of Decision in 1989 directed the capping of the landfill and the construction of a ground water pump-and-treat facility.

Because monitoring had demonstrated diminished groundwater contamination, EPA issued an amended Record of Decision in 1996, changing the pump-and-treat remedy for the groundwater to natural attenuation. Monitoring and modeling of contamination indicated that capping the three disposal areas would clean up the ground water within five years. The change in groundwater remedies was based on diminished groundwater contamination and the belief that the landfill caps would further reduce groundwater contamination.

Although groundwater at the site is not currently used for drinking water and the caps have been in place for eight years, arsenic concentrations in the groundwater, although reduced, remain at levels above health-based standards for drinking water consumption. Monitoring has shown that the arsenic concentrations are declining and do not currently pose an unacceptable risk for the public or the environment.

EPA is looking at whether the caps which have been in-place at the site since 1994 continue to be effective and will ultimately meet the cleanup levels set for arsenic in groundwater – 50 parts per billion. The Town of Londonderry maintains the cap and provides security at the site. Another group of potentially responsible parties (PRPs) have been monitoring the arsenic-contaminated groundwater. EPA will examine the protectiveness of the existing conditions at the site and decide how to address this issue as it relates to protectiveness over the long term.

EPA's team is reviewing the reports prepared by the responsible parties and is additionally:• interviewing site workers and local officials;

    • 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 is anticipated to be completed this fall, 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 Leach Public Library on Mammoth Road in Londonderry, NH.