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Atlas Tack Phase 3 (Wetlands)
Fairhaven, Massachusetts

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

Site Description

The Atlas Tack facility is located on an approximately 24 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. 240 cubic yards of soil or other solid-based media were treated, stabilized, or removed (roughly equivalent to 16 dump trucks).
  • A three-phased cleanup plan for the Atlas Tack site was approved on March 10, 2000. EPA completed the first phase of the cleanup which included 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) (2 pp, 530 K) and off-site disposal of contaminated soil and sludge found beneath and around the buildings.
  • The second phase began in 2006 and includes removing 39,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil and debris from the "fill areas" of the Site and disposing of these materials at licensed, off-site facilities. Once Phase II is completed, EPA will use a method called phytoremediation (PDF) (2 pp, 87 K) 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, marsh restoration and groundwater quality.
  • This Site has a high level of community involvement. EPA continues to hold regular public meetings to keep the community informed about the progress of cleanup work at the Site. The commercial area and a portion of the "fill areas" 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 during the cleanup work.

Current Funding Status

  • Total Site Funding Received to Date: approximately $13.3 million.
  • Phase I (completed) funding: Total funding through fiscal year 2005 was approximately $2.3 million.
  • Phase II funding: In September 2005, EPA allocated $3.0 million to partially fund the second phase of cleanup. An additional $6.0 million was allocated for the second phase of cleanup in fiscal year 2006.
  • Phase III funding: $2.0 million was allocated in fiscal year 2006 to initiate the third phase of the cleanup.

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) (2 pp, 530 K), phytoremediation (PDF) (2 pp, 87 K), and wetland restoration.
  • 240 cubic yards of soil and debris have been treated, stabilized or removed from the Site (roughly equivalent to 16 dump trucks).
  • Completed a settlement in 2004 with the Hathaway-Braley Wharf Company, a PRP at the Site, making partial funding available for the first phase of cleanup.
  • Completed a settlement in 2005 with the owner/operator and Atlas Tack Corporation, the Town of Fairhaven and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, making additional funding available for the remaining cleanup.
  • Completed Phase I and initiated Phase II of the cleanup in fiscal year 2006 which included building demolition and excavation and off-site disposal of contaminated soil and sludge in the 10-acre commercial area of the Site.
  • EPA initiated funding of the Phase III cleanup plan in late fiscal year 2006.


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