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EPA Reaches Settlement at Morses Pond Culvert Site in Wellesley, MA

Release Date: 10/13/2005
Contact Information:

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

For Immediate Release: October 13, 2005; Release # sr051009

BOSTON – Federal officials have reached an agreement with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) to reimburse EPA for $150,000 in past cleanup costs at the Morses Pond Culvert Site in Wellesley, MA.

The site includes a steeply sloped 35-foot high, earthen railroad embankment which passes over a culvert connecting Morses Pond to Paintshop Pond, an adjoining residential property, and sediments within a 0.2 acre cove of the pond at the mouth of the culvert.

Between October 2000 and the middle of August 2002, EPA spent approximately $4 million to remove over 3,000 tons of chromium-contaminated soil and sediment and disposed of the material at a permitted facility. Soil that could not be excavated due to structural concerns around the culvert and railroad embankment was treated in place and covered with a low-permeability cap to reduce the chromium’s toxicity and limit its movement off-site and into the groundwater.

The MBTA purchased a portion of the site property, including the railroad bed and embankment, in 1973 in the context of a bankruptcy proceeding, and owns and operates the associated railroad line which is used for commuter and freight purposes.

The agreement is subject to a 30-day public comment period which began on Thursday, September 22, 2005, the date notice of the proposed settlement was published in the Federal Register. Following the public comment period, the agreement will become effective.

During the public comment period, the proposed Consent Decree may be examined at the Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, Office of the United States Attorney, 1 Courthouse Way, John Joseph Moakley Courthouse, Boston, Massachusetts 02210, and at the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region 1, One Congress Street, Suite 1100, Boston, Massachusetts 02114-2023. Please contact Greg Dain at the US EPA, at 617-918-1884 to set up an appointment.

The Consent Decree may also be examined on the following Department of Justice Web site:

Comments on the agreement should refer to United States v. Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, DOJ Ref.90-11-3-07035/2 and will be received by the Department of Justice for a period of thirty (30) days from September 22, 2005. Comments should be mailed to:

Assistant Attorney General
Environment and Natural Resources Division
Post Office Box 7611
United States Department of Justice
Washington, DC 20044-7611

In addition, a copy of the comments should be sent to:

Donald G. Frankel
Department of Justice
Suite 616
One Gateway Center
Newton, MA 02458

Related Information:
Cleanup Process
Cleanup in New England
RCRA Cleanup