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Atlas Tack Corp. (Phases II & III)

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Printable Version (PDF) (44 K, 2 pp)

Site Description

The Atlas Tack facility is located on an approximately 20-acre site located in Fairhaven, MA. The facility was built in 1901 and manufactured a variety of metal products until 1985 including tacks, steel nails, rivets, eyelets and bolts. From the early 1940s until the 1970s or 1980s, wastewater containing cyanide and heavy metals was discharged into an on-site lagoon, eventually contaminating the soil, marsh sediments and groundwater. Three separate areas of the Site are also contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), heavy metals, pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

Current Site Status and Cleanup Actions to Date

  • In 1992, EPA limited access to the Site by requiring the Potentially Responsible Party (PRP) to install a fence around the facility.
  • In 1998, EPA completed investigations into the nature and extent of site contamination.
  • In 1999, EPA's Emergency Response and Removal program removed asbestos from three dilapidated buildings on the Site, preventing the possibility of local community residents inhaling asbestos fibers. Additionally, the Town of Fairhaven banned shell fishing on or near the Site to prohibit the possible ingestion of bacterially contaminated fish.
  • A three-phased cleanup plan for the Atlas Tack site was approved on March 10, 2000. In June 2005, EPA began the first phase which includes demolition of the rear three-story section of the main manufacturing building, the power plant building and a 180 foot smoke stack on the Site and excavation (PDF) (530 K, 2 pp) and off-site disposal of contaminated soil and sludge found beneath and around the buildings. This phase is expected to be completed by the end of 2005.
  • The second phase during which EPA will remove 39,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil and debris from the "fill areas" of the Site and dispose of these materials at licensed, off-site facilities is scheduled to begin in the beginning of 2006. Once this is completed, EPA will use a method called phytoremediation (PDF) (87 K, 2 pp) to prevent residual contamination from leaving the Site.
  • The final phase will include remediation and restoration of salt marsh soils and creek bed sediments. EPA will then continue to monitor the phytoremediation efforts and groundwater quality.
  • This Site has had a high level of community involvement. EPA has been holding regular public meetings to keep the community informed about the progress of the work since the cleanup started. The commercial area of the Site may be redeveloped for commercial/industrial use after the cleanup has occurred.
  • EPA continues to monitor the site to ensure there is no immediate threat to human health pending the start of long term clean up work.

Current Funding Status

  • Total Site funding to date: Approximately $7.0 million.
  • Phase I funding: In fiscal year 2004, EPA allocated $1.8 million. In September 2005, EPA allocated an additional $500,000 to complete the first phase of cleanup.
  • Phase II funding: In September 2005, EPA allocated $3.0 million to partially fund the second phase of cleanup.
  • Phase III funding: Not funded in fiscal year 2005.

For more information on the projects at this site, please read the Atlas Tack Corporation Fact Sheet on the Region 1 Superfund Web site.

Key Accomplishments

  • Designed the cleanup plan that involves building demolition, contaminated soil and sediment excavation (PDF) (530 K, 2 pp), phytoremediation (PDF) (87 K, 2 pp), and wetland restoration.
  • Completed a settlement with the Hathaway-Braley Wharf Company, a PRP at the Site, making partial funding available for the first phase of cleanup.
  • Began the first of three phases of cleanup in June 2005 which includes building demolition and excavation and off-site disposal of contaminated soil and sludge in the 10-acre commercial area of the Site.


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