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NPL Site Narrative for New Hampshire Plating Co.

Merrimack, New Hampshire

Federal Register Notice:  October 14, 1992

Conditions at Proposal (July 29, 1991): New Hampshire Plating Co. (NHPC) formerly conducted electroplating operations on a 13.1-acre leased property on Wright Avenue in Merrimack, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire. The surrounding area is primarily used for light industrial and commercial purposes, with some residential areas nearby. During the lifetime of the plant (1962-85), NHPC discharged electroplating waste water and wastes into a system of four natural lagoons in a wetland on the property. The lagoons were unlined and had no leachate detection or collection system.

In 1980, NHPC notified EPA that it was a hazardous waste disposal facility under Subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). An inspection by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NH DES) and EPA in April 1982 noted several RCRA violations. As a result, the New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services issued a Notice of Violations and Order of Abatement to NHPC. In February 1983, the State of New Hampshire filed a civil suit against NHPC, and was awarded a $600,000 attachment of property. NHPC halted operations in 1985 because it lacked the financial resources necessary to meet compliance standards and continue hydrogeologic investigations at the property.

In June 1987, a contractor for NH DES treated the lagoon system with lime and a sodium hypochlorite solution, removed debris, drums, and plating tank liquids to a regulated disposal facility, and conducted a superficial cleaning of the manufacturing building. In 1990, EPA used emergency funds to solidify the contaminated sludge and soil at the property.

At least 12 hazardous materials are present in the lagoon system, according to sampling conducted by NH DES and EPA in 1987-90. Among the materials are trichloroethene, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, heavy metals (including arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead), and cyanide. NH DES and EPA detected many of these materials in 1987-88 in on-site monitoring wells. Approximately 39,000 people obtain their drinking water from wells within 4 miles of the site, the closest a private well within 0.65 mile.

Shallow ground water beneath the site flows to the east toward the Merrimack River and to the south toward Horseshoe Pond, both within 1,000 feet of the site.

Status (October 1992): This site is being added to the NPL because it satisfies a component of EPA's NPL/RCRA policy: the owner has demonstrated inability to finance appropriate remedial action.

For more information about the hazardous substances identified in this narrative summary, including general information regarding the effects of exposure to these substances on human health, please see the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ToxFAQs. ATSDR ToxFAQs can be found on the Internet at ATSDR - ToxFAQs (http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/index.asp) or by telephone at 1-888-42-ATSDR or 1-888-422-8737.

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