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New Hampshire Plating Co.

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Site Description

The New Hampshire Plating Company (NHPC) Superfund site, located in Merrimack, NH, was an electroplating facility from 1962 to 1985. A 13 acre site, it is surrounded by light industry, commercial businesses, and a few private residential dwellings. During operation, the facility discharged electroplating wastes to a series of four lagoons, contaminating the soil and groundwater with a variety of metals, cyanide, and a variety of chlorinated organic solvents including trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE). Drinking water wells are located within four miles of the site and are a source of drinking water for an estimated 39,000 people. The immediate area is served by a public water supply.

Current Site Status and Cleanup Actions to Date

  • In 1987, the NHDES stabilized the lagoon system, removed contaminated debris, and gave the NHPC building a superficial cleaning.
  • EPA's cleanup plan, published in September 1998, proposed the following:
    • Treat approximately 60,000 yards3 of metals contaminated soil via chemical fixation (a process through which the soil composition is chemically altered to bind toxic metals to the soil so they will no longer leach to groundwater). The treated soil will be consolidated under a two foot soil cover on-site. The Town plans to develop recreational fields following the clean-up.
    • Remove chlorinated organic solvents and metals in the groundwater using natural attenuation (PDF) (91 K, 2 pp). EPA will continue to test and monitor the groundwater and surface water throughout the cleanup process;
    • Establish systems to prevent the consumption of groundwater and the removal of treated soils; and
    • Alter the terrain of the site to help the community reuse the site for recreational purposes.
  • From 1990 to 1991, EPA stabilized approximately 19,200 tons of contaminated sludge and disposed of an additional 5,000 tons of soil off-site. A fence was also installed around the site to completely eliminate unauthorized access.
  • In 1994, EPA placed laboratory waste into secure containers and shipped off-site for disposal, removed asbestos-containing materials, demolished the building, floor slab, and foundation, removed an underground storage tank, and identified the contaminants in the soil and covered the ground where the building once stood.
  • The lagoon system sits in a wetland area, and in 2002, EPA completed the necessary compensatory wetland acquisitions. The Grassy Pond wetland area was purchased in 1998 and the Green's Pond wetland area was purchased in 2002 at a combined cost of $1.6 million.
  • In 2001, EPA awarded a $99,050 Superfund Redevelopment Initiative grant to the town of Merrimack. The town developed a draft reuse plan which calls for the site to be developed into a recreational area consisting of two or three soccer or ball fields with associated parking areas. Town approval of the reuse plan for the Site is expected by December 2004.
  • EPA, through NHDES, continues to sample groundwater from about 38 monitoring wells on and around the site, as well as surface water from Horseshoe Pond and the Merrimack River. Three supply wells in the adjacent town of Litchfield are also monitored annually and remain safe for use. The entire impacted area is served by a public water supply system.

Current Funding Status

  • EPA has spent $8.5 million in response costs to date, primarily on removal and site characterization activities. EPA continues to spend about $50,000 per year to monitor the site for further contamination.
  • The estimated cost to complete EPA's cleanup plan for soil and groundwater remediation at the site is $14 million, which includes an estimated $500,000 for ten years of post-cleanup groundwater monitoring.
  • In Fiscal Year 2004, EPA committed $4 million to initiate final remedial activities at the site, including the completion of final engineering and construction planning activities, site clearing, and initial soil excavation and treatment activities.
  • EPA is awaiting the remaining funds necessary to complete the cleanup for the site. EPA's cleanup activities for the site are expected to be completed by the end of Fiscal Year 2006, pending the receipt of the remaining funding in early Fiscal Year 2005.

For more information on this site, please read the New Hampshire Plating Co. Fact Sheet on the Region 1 Superfund Web site.

Key Accomplishments

  • From 1990 to 1991, EPA stabilized approximately 19,200 tons of contaminated sludge and disposed of an additional 5,000 tons of soil off-site. A fence was also installed around the site to completely eliminate unauthorized access.
  • In 1994, EPA placed laboratory waste into secure containers and shipped off-site for disposal, removed asbestos-containing materials, demolished the building, floor slab, and foundation, removed an underground storage tank, and identified the contaminants in the soil and covered the ground where the building once stood.
  • EPA, through the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES), continues to sample groundwater from about 38 monitoring wells on and around the site, as well as surface water from Horseshoe Pond and the Merrimack River. Three supply wells in the adjacent town of Litchfield are also monitored annually and remain safe for use. The entire impacted area is served by a public water supply system.

 

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