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Cleanup Progress at Wells G&H Superfund Site in Woburn, MA Will Be Reviewed

Release Date: 08/17/2004
Contact Information:

For Immediate Release: August 17, 2004

Contact: Amy Miller, EPA Press Office (617-918-1042) Release # 04-08-10

BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will shortly begin a review of the effectiveness of groundwater treatment remedies in place at the Wells G&H Superfund Site in Woburn, Mass. The site covers approximately 330 acres and includes both the aquifer and land associated with two former municipal drinking water wells in the City of Woburn, known as wells G & H.

In 1991, EPA reached settlements with the potentially responsible parties (PRPs) to clean up contamination at the W.R. Grace, Unifirst Corporation, Wildwood Conservation Trust and New England Plastics properties at the site. These properties were four of five source area properties identified in the 1980s as potential sources of contamination at the former production wells G and H.

To date, cleanup activities have resulted in the treatment of more than 200 million gallons of groundwater and the removal of over 4,000 pounds of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the groundwater. EPA more recently reached an agreement with Olympia Nominee Trust to clean up contaminated soils at the former drum disposal area of its 60 Olympia Avenue property. This property was the fifth property identified as a potential source of contamination at the former production wells G and H. Thus far, Olympia Nominee Trust has excavated and disposed of 56 cubic yards of PCB-contaminated surface soils, evaluated various options for addressing the TCE-contaminated soils, and in July 2004 initiated preliminary cleanup activities through an EPA-approved work plan. Abandoned drums were removed from the Olympia property in the 1980s.

EPA will soon commence a comprehensive evaluation of the site remedy, called a five-year review. The review process will include: interviewing state and local officials and community members; collecting information from the PRPs and local officials; checking the well field and treatment systems to ensure that they are operating as designed and are being properly maintained; and assessing records and reports. The last five-year review for the site was conducted in 1999.

The agency will evaluate the collected information and then make a determination as to whether the remedy is protective or not protective of public health and the environment. The five-year review process is anticipated to be completed this fall, followed by a final report which will be made available to the public.

The Wells G & H site was listed on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1982. More information on EPA’s cleanup efforts at the Wells G & H Superfund site is available at:

EPA technical reports and documents are also available for public review in the site information repository located at the Woburn Public Library in Woburn, as well as EPA’s record center in Boston.

Related Information:
Wells G & H Fact Sheet
Long-Term Cleanups