Jump to main content.

NPL Site Narrative for Hatheway and Patterson Company

Mansfield, Massachusetts

Federal Register Notice:  September 05, 2002 (PDF) (9 pp, 193K, About PDF)

Conditions at Proposal (September 13, 2001): Hatheway and Patterson Company (HPC) is a former wood preserving facility located in a mixed residential and industrial area in Mansfield, Bristol County, Massachusetts. The HPC property comprises approximately 40 acres and is bordered to the north by County Street and residential properties, to the south and west by forested and wetland areas, and to the east by a welding and masonry supply company. The property is roughly divided in half by the Rumford River, which runs north to south, and by a railroad track right-of-way, which runs east and west. The HPC site is being proposed to the NPL because releases of dioxins, furans, and phenols from the facility to the Rumford River have impacted fisheries and wetlands, and releases of arsenic, chromium, copper, phenols (including pentachlorophenol (PCP)), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) to ground water pose a threat to nearby municipal and private drinking water wells.

Operations at the HPC property included preserving wood sheeting, planking, timber, piling, poles, and other wood products. HPC began wood treating operations at the property in 1953, although it operated at the facility since 1927. Operations between 1927 and 1953 are unknown. HPC historically used various methods and materials to treat wood on the property, including PCP in fuel oil, creosote, fluoro-chrome-arsenate-phenol (FCAP) salts, chromated copper-arsenate (CCA), Dricon (tm) (a fire retardant), and other chemicals.

In 1971, a tar mat approximately 62 feet long and 6 inches wide was discovered by town of Mansfield and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MADEP) personnel. At the end of 1972, a citizen complained of "oily water" and dead water fowl in the Rumford River downstream of the HPC facility. Subsequently, MADEP and the town of Mansfield requested that HPC contain the seepage. By 1973, HPC developed a contaminated ground water recovery trench located along the east bank of the Rumford River just upstream from its confluence with the Rumford River backwash channel. Oily seepage was again detected in the Rumford River in 1981 by a prospective buyer of the site. In 1987, HPC was issued a Notice of Noncompliance by the MADEP, which ordered that HPC conduct a soils and hydrology assessment of the site. In 1988, MADEP issued HPC a Notice of Responsibility, and in 1990, MADEP issued a Request for Short-Term Measure to address the imminent contamination of the Rumford River emanating from the site. In 1992, EPA's RCRA program personnel conducted inspections of the HPC facility and determined that the drip pads were not in compliance. In 1984, HPC filed for bankruptcy and ceased operations in April 1993.

Because wood treating solvents, chemicals, sludges, tanks, sumps, and drums were abandoned by HPC on the property with no electricity or heat, conditions at the site posed a significant threat of hazardous substance releases. Therefore, in December 1993, EPA's Emergency Planning and Response Branch initiated a two year removal action to address problems at the HPC site. Upon initiating the removal action, EPA discovered several process and support buildings that contained large tanks, process vessels, drums, sumps, pits, and various small containers. Outside on the property, EPA discovered three drip pads, treated lumber storage areas, three above ground tanks containing PCP, another tank containing fuel oil, three tanks containing Dricon (tm) in water, and six underground storage tanks. Over 50,000 gallons of waste water was removed by EPA during this action; an undetermined amount of contaminated soil remains at the site. HPC's operations and abandoned materials have caused releases of site-related contaminants to soils, ground water, and surface water.

In 1999, the state of Massachusetts, at the recommendation of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Control, closed the Rumford River downstream of the HPC facility to all fishing due to dioxin contamination attributed to HPC. Releases of dioxins and phenols also have impacted approximately 1.25 miles of wetland frontage along the Rumford River, and the releases pose a threat to several other wetland areas, fisheries, and habitats used by State designated threatened species downstream of the facility. In addition, over 44,000 people receive drinking water from private and municipal wells within four miles of the HPC facility.

Status (September 2002): EPA is considering various alternatives for this site.

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.

Top of page

OSWER Home | Superfund Home | Innovative Technologies Home

Local Navigation

Jump to main content.