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Cleanup Nears Finish at Apco Mossberg Superfund Site in Attleboro Removal of 6,500 tons of contaminated soils

Release Date: 08/17/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: Sheryl Rosner (, EPA Office of Public Affairs, (617) 918-1865

For Immediate Release: August 17, 2005; Release # sr050801

(Attleboro, Mass.) - Eight months after work began, the cleanup of Attleboro's Apco Mossberg Superfund Site is nearing completion. Federal, state, and local officials gathered at the site today to watch as the last truckloads of metal-contaminated surface soils left the site.

EPA has overseen the excavation and disposal of 6,500 tons of contaminated surface soils from the site, including contaminated materials from two chemical storage lagoons located in the heavily wooded portion of the site. Two areas of buried drums and paint cans were also discovered and removed. All excavated areas in the woods and along the riverbank have been backfilled with clean fill and topsoil.

“This cleanup is a terrific example of the kind of progress that can be made when federal, state and local leaders work together in a cooperative spirit,” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA's New England regional office. “Cleaning this land of contamination not only removes health concerns, but it also means that the community can move forward with redeveloping the property and putting it back into productive use.”

During an investigation of the Lamb Street site last spring, EPA discovered PCBs, lead, cadmium, and heavy metals in surface soils and debris piles on the property. These hazardous substances were directly exposed to the environment and believed to result from former manufacturing processes conducted on the property between 1900 and 1987. The contamination was also found in wetland and riverbank soils adjacent to the Ten Mile River.

The cleanup was closely coordinated with the Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP), which stepped in to remove two abandoned underground storage tanks discovered during the excavation work. DEP also removed almost 200 tons of oil-contaminated soil and over 4,500 gallons of oily water remaining in the tanks.

EPA has worked closely with the City of Attleboro Health Department to help make the site ready for reuse. Attleboro's Health Agent, Jim Mooney, and the Attleboro Department of Public Works, have also been instrumental in ensuring the removal of large piles of discarded tires from the site in an effort to facilitate redevelopment.

Varney commended the active role that the City of Attleboro has played in the project, including making high pressure hoses available from the fire department to help keep dust down at the site, and reviewing and supporting EPA’s plan to treat 50,000 gallons of water from the project and release clean water to the nearby Ten Mile River instead of shipping the water off site – resulting in a saving of tens of thousands of dollars.

The 11-acre Attleboro site, located at 100-101 Lamb Street, was the location of the Frank Mossberg Company in the early 1900’s. During that time, the company manufactured tools, automobile starters, and spring kits. Apco Mossberg Company, Inc. assumed ownership of the property in 1937. Fifty years later, in 1987, the manufacturing building was destroyed by a fire.

EPA’s cleanup, called a time-critical removal action, was conducted under the federal Superfund program, which assists state and community efforts to identify and clean areas that are contaminated with hazardous materials. In the coming weeks, EPA will meet with City and State officials to discuss the transition to City and State control of the site. EPA will also provide extensive property documentation to help local leaders determine appropriate future uses for the site.

Additional information on the project is available (

Related Information: 
Apco Mossberg Superfund Site Fact Sheet
Superfund in New England