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Olin ChemicalWilmington, Massachusetts
Middlesex County6th Congressional District

iconSite Location/Size:
   The Olin Chemical facility encompasses a 53-acre property located at 51 Eames Street in Wilmington, Massachusetts. The inactive facility is completely fenced and is bounded on the north by Eames Street, on the east by Boston and Maine railroad tracks, on the south by the Woburn/Wilmington town line, and on the west by an inactive Boston and Maine railroad spur. Surrounding the property to the north, east and west are heavy and light industrial facilities, and to the south is a former municipal landfill for the City of Woburn. The closest residential areas are west of the Olin Chemical facility along Main Street and Cooke Avenue.

iconSite History:
   The Olin Chemical property was used for chemical manufacturing starting in 1953 by National Polychemicals, Inc. (NPI). Between 1953 and 1971, NPI was owned and operated by American Biltrite Rubber Co., Fisons Limited, and Fisons Corporation. In 1968, Stepan Chemical Corporation purchased NPI and operated the facility until it was purchased by Olin Corporation in 1980. Olin Chemical produced chemical blowing agents, stabilizers, antioxidants and other specialty chemicals for the rubber and plastics industry at the facility. The facility closed in 1986, but the property is still owned by Olin Corporation.Historical wastewater disposal practices were a major source of the contamination associated with the Olin Chemical facility. Prior to 1970, all liquid wastes were discharged directly into several unlined pits and ponds in the central portion of the property, as well as into a man-made excavation called Lake Poly Liquid Waste Disposal Area (Lake Poly). In 1970, Stepan Chemical installed an acid treatment and neutralization system and new lined lagoons to replace the unlined pits and ponds. Treated wastes were released into the lagoons where calcium sulfate sludge settled out. The lagoons were periodically dredged and the sludge was deposited in a landfill in the southwest corner of the property (now known as the Calcium Sulfate Landfill). Residual liquid wastes were released to an unlined on-property ditch system until 1972. Onsite waste disposal practices have resulted in subsurface contamination both on and off the Olin Chemical property and the closure of municipal drinking water supply wells.

iconSite Contamination/Contaminants:
   Principal contaminants associated with the site include: ammonia, chloride, sodium, sulfate, chromium and N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). The contamination in the aquifer extends 0.75 miles west from the Olin Chemical property to the drinking water supply wells, and includes a complex mixture of inorganic and about 196 organic chemicals.

iconPotential Impacts on Surrounding Community/Environment:
   Groundwater contamination associated with releases from the site has forced the closure of four municipal water supply wells serving more than 7,000 persons due to elevated concentrations of NDMA, a probable human carcinogen. Wetlands in the vicinity of the site also have been impacted by releases from onsite sources. The extent of surface water and sediment contamination linked with releases from this site is under investigation.

iconResponse Activities (to date):
   While extensive work has been completed by Olin Corporation to control and contain wastes onsite, including construction of a slurry wall around the former waste pits, excavation of Lake Poly and other hot spots, operation of a pump and treat system for Plant B, and capping the Calcium Sulfate Landfill, the release of wastes from the site continues. In accordance with the State's program requirements, Olin Corporation has investigated the site and performed response actions onsite.

[The description of the site (release) is based on information available at the time the site was evaluated with the HRS. The description may change as additional information is gathered on the sources and extent of contamination. See 56 FR 5600, February 11, 1991, or subsequent FR notices.]

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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