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Federal District Court Lodges Consent Decree for Schaffer Landfill Portion of Iron Horse Park Superfund Site in Billerica, MA

Release Date: 08/30/2000
Contact Information: Alice Kaufman, EPA Community Affairs Office, 617-918-1064

BOSTON -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the US Department of Justice (DOJ), the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly announced today that the US District Court in Boston has lodged a Consent Decree for the Shaffer Landfill portion of the Iron Horse Park Superfund Site in Billerica, Mass.

In addition to requiring the responsible parties to reimburse the costs incurred by EPA and DEP, the consent decree mandates the capping of the landfill and installation of landfill gas and leachate collection systems; groundwater monitoring; and fulfillment of operating and maintenance responsibilities. Lodging of the consent decree is the first step taken with the court to make the agreement binding on all of the parties. The consent decree will now be open for public comment for 30 days after it is published in the Federal Register.

More than 30 responsible parties, representing landfill owners and operators, generators and transporters will reimburse more than $1.5 million to the US Government and nearly $150,000 to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The capping of the landfill will be completed by the end of 2002 at an estimated cost of $15 million to the responsible parties and the leachate collection system will collect and treat/dispose of up to 10,000 gallons per day of leachate. To ensure that cleanup goals are being met, the responsible parties will conduct ground water monitoring for up to 15 years, after which DEP will assume monitoring responsibility. Forty years of operating and maintenance costs will be borne by the responsible parties, thereafter the costs will be assumed by the state.

"This consent decree enables the cleanup of Shaffer Landfill to begin," said Mindy S. Lubber, Regional Administrator for EPA New England. "We are pleased that agreement was reached with the numerous responsible parties."

"This settlement is a major step toward protecting the public and the environment from the hazardous substances in the landfill," Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly said.

The Shaffer Landfill is one of three cleanup sites at the Iron Horse Park Superfund Site, which was listed on the National Priorities List on Sept. 21, 1984. The landfill is an about 106-acre facility, of which 60 acres were used for commercial and solid waste disposal for over 30 years. The western section of the landfill was used for rubbish disposal beginning in 1946 and was operated as an open burning dump for more than 20 years. The eastern section began to be filled in 1970. The landfill ceased operation in 1986 as part of a 1984 settlement with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The consent decree is available for review by the public at: Billerica Public Library, Reference Department, 25 Concord Road, Billerica, MA, 01821, 978-671-0948 and EPA New England, Don MeElroy, One Congress, Boston, MA 02114 or 617-918-1326.