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EPA and DEP Approve Cleanup Plan for Iron Horse Park Superfund Site in North Billerica

Release Date: 10/08/04
Contact Information:

Contact: Peyton Fleming, EPA Press Office (617-918-1008)

For Immediate Release: Oct. 8, 2004; Release # 04-10-11

BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, with concurrence from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), has approved a $23.5 million cleanup plan for a portion of the Iron Horse Park Superfund site – known specifically as Operable Unit 3 (OU3) – in North Billerica, MA. EPA announced the chosen plan in a document called the Record of Decision (ROD) on September 30.

The ROD for Operable Unit 3 calls for capping about 34 acres of waste at six different areas, and maintaining an existing cap at a seventh area, to prevent contact with the waste or contamination and to limit the movement of contamination from the waste areas into the surface water or groundwater. Prior to issuing its decision, EPA solicited public comment between June and August 2004 on its proposal.

EPA estimates the total cost of the selected cleanup plan to be about $23.5 million. The Record of Decision addresses seven distinct areas of the site: the B&M Railroad and RSI Landfills; the B&M Locomotive Shop Disposal Areas; the Old B & M Oil / Sludge Recycling Area; the Contaminated Soils Area; the Asbestos Landfill and the Asbestos Lagoons.

The ROD includes the following major components:

    • Capping landfill material and contaminated soils in several areas of the site.
    • Maintenance of fences around the capped areas.
    • Implementation of institutional controls to restrict future use of the capped areas.
    • Restoration/replication of wetlands impacted by construction activities, as necessary.
These actions are designed to address potential sources of contamination and prevent further spread of contamination to groundwater, surface water and sediment. As part of the cleanup plan, the landfill caps and fences will be inspected and maintained on a periodic basis to ensure that they remain protective of public health and the environment. Groundwater will be sampled on a regular basis to ensure that the caps are working effectively, and new monitoring wells will be installed, if necessary.

The Iron Horse Park Superfund site, a 553-acre industrial complex which includes manufacturing and railyard maintenance facilities, open storage areas, landfills, and wastewater lagoons, was listed on the EPA’s National Priorities List in 1984.

A long history of activities at the site, beginning in 1913, has resulted in the contamination of soil, groundwater and surface water. In previous decisions, EPA selected and implemented remedies at OU1 (the B&M Wastewater Lagoons) and OU2 (the Shaffer Landfill). Operable Unit 3 is characterized by numerous source areas, an extensive wetland system, multiple property owners and widespread environmental impacts. The potential remediation of surface water, sediment and groundwater will be addressed at a later time as Operable Unit 4 (OU4).

Responses to comments received during the public comment period can be found in the Responsiveness Summary which is part of the Record of Decision. A Responsiveness Summary includes written responses to significant comments, criticisms, and/or new data submitted during the public comment period. A copy of the Record of Decision is available for public review at the EPA Records Center in Boston, as well as on the EPA website at:

Related Information:
Iron Horse Park Fact Sheet
Superfund in New England