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NPL Site Narrative for W.R. Grace & Co., Inc. (Acton Plant)

Acton, Massachusetts

Federal Register Notice:  September 08, 1983

Conditions at listing (December 1982): The W.R. Grace & Co., Inc., plant covers 500 acres in Acton, Massachusetts. Until early 1982, the plant manufactured various specialty chemicals and other products for industrial use. Since at least 1973, residents in South Acton have filed complaints about periodic odors and irritants in the air around the Grace plant. In addition, the town drilled Assabet Wells #1 and 2 in the area, which contains deep deposits of sand and gravel and bears large amounts of ground water. However, the water had odors indicating significant contamination. In 1978, when Grace proposed expanding part of the plant, local and State officials undertook a more detailed examination of the company's waste disposal practices. This led to the precautionary closing of two contaminated municipal wells, reducing Acton's drinking water supply by 40 percent. On Oct. 21, 1980, EPA and Grace signed a Consent Decree, representing an out-of-court settlement of a Federal suit filed against the company under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The settlement required Grace to clean up and restore the quality of the aquifer supplying Assabet Wells #1 and #2 and to close out the existing lagoons and landfill on-site, which are no longer in use.

Status (July 1983): EPA is evaluating Grace's proposals to start cleanup of the lagoons and landfill and drill wells to intercept contaminated water in the aquifer.

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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