Environmental Protection

Parties Come to Terms to Clean up Shpack Landfill Site

A multi-party settlement involving the federal government will ensure that cleanup efforts proceed at the Shpack Landfill Superfund site in the towns of Norton and Attleboro, Mass., the Justice Department and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced on Dec. 9.

The defendants signing the agreement include the city of Attleboro, Mass.; Avnet Inc.; Bank of America N.A. (Trustee u/w of Lloyd G. Balfour); BASF Catalysts LLC (formerly known as Engelhard Corp.); Chevron Environmental Management Co. (for itself and on behalf of Kewanee Industries Inc.); ConocoPhillips Co.; Handy & Harman; International Paper Co.; KIK Custom Products, Inc. (formerly known as CCL Custom Manufacturing Inc.); town of Norton, Mass.; Swank Inc.; Teknor Apex Co.; Texas Instruments Inc.; and Waste Management of Massachusetts Inc.

Under terms of a consent decree lodged in the U.S. District Court in Boston, the defendants will perform the remainder of the site-wide cleanup of chemical wastes and other contaminants. The work is estimated to cost $29 million.

The site is contaminated with both chemical and radioactive wastes as a result of landfill operations at the site. In addition to performing clean-up work, the defendants will pay up to $2.9 million for EPA's costs. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers currently is cleaning up the radioactive contamination, which is expected to be completed during the fall of 2010. While the Army Corps cleanup continues, the defendants will perform design work, ecological studies, and other activities and when the radioactive soil cleanup is complete, the defendants will address the remaining soils.

Under the terms of the settlement, the defendants have agreed to implement the September 2004 cleanup decision for the site. Among other measures, the defendants will prepare design plans; excavate contaminated soil and sediment, with off-site disposal; restore wetlands; implement a surface, sediments, and groundwater monitoring program; extend the public water supply line to two residences adjacent to the site; and place restrictions on uses of the site property and groundwater.

The Shpack Landfill is a 9.4 acre site located in the Norton and Attleboro, Mass. A portion of the site known as the Dumont parcel operated as a town dump from 1946 to 1965. The Shpack portion of the site received waste from 1946 to 1975. During its operation, the landfill received industrial and household waste including chemical and radioactive wastes. In 1978, a citizen reported the disposal of radioactive items at the landfill. Subsequent site investigations revealed contaminants including volatile organic compounds, polychlorinated biphenyls, heavy metals, and radioactive wastes. EPA listed the Shpack Landfill on the Superfund "National Priorities List" in 1986. Remedial investigation work was conducted during the 1990s by some of the responsible parties. As part of this agreement, the town of Norton will provide access and institutional controls for the parcel of land it owns on the site.

The proposed consent decree is available at www.usdoj.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html.

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