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EPA Announces Proposed Plan to Clean Up the Walton and Lonsbury Superfund Site in Attleboro, Massachusetts

Public Comment Period begins July 26; Public Meeting and Hearing Scheduled July 31 in Attleboro

07/25/2019
Contact Information: 
David Deegan (deegan.dave@epa.gov)
(617) 918-1017

Attleboro, Mass. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today a proposed cleanup plan for the Walton & Lonsbury Superfund Site in Attleboro, Massachusetts. The purpose of the plan is to provide cleanup options for addressing contaminated soil, groundwater, and surface water at the site and to solicit public comment on EPA's preferred alternatives for addressing the contamination.

"EPA is firmly committed to working with the community to identify the best clean up plan for the Walton and Lonsbury Superfund Site," said EPA New England Acting Regional Administrator Deborah Szaro. "We strive for a plan that fully protects public health and the environment, while also reflecting the community's input."

EPA added the site to the Superfund program's National Priorities List (NPL) in May 2013. The cleanup proposal is detailed in a document called a Proposed Plan, which gives specifics on the cleanup actions being proposed. Some actions include:

  • Removal and off-site disposal of remaining Walton & Lonsbury facility features (e.g., concrete floor slab).
  • Soil excavation at the former Walton & Lonsbury facility property and off-site disposal of contaminated soil.
  • In-situ soil treatment at the former Walton & Lonsbury facility property.
  • Extension of the existing permeable reactive barrier along Bliss Brook.
  • Mid-plume in-situ soil treatment along the west side of North Avenue.
  • Soil excavation and off-site disposal of lead-contaminated surface soil at residential yards west of North Avenue.
  • Restoration of affected areas.
  • Contingency remedy of in-situ bedrock groundwater treatment west of North Avenue, if additional investigations to be conducted indicate groundwater contaminants are found to exceed drinking water standards in the downgradient aquifer.
  • The overall remedy will also include land use controls to protect the remedy where unrestricted use standards are not achieved, long-term monitoring and maintenance, and periodic 5-year reviews to ensure protectiveness of the remedy.

EPA estimates that the proposed cleanup plan will cost approximately $22 million.

Background information:

The Walton & Lonsbury (W&L) chromium plating facility was located on a 3-acre property at 78 North Avenue in Attleboro, Mass. The electroplating operations were conducted in a 13,500 square-foot building on the property from 1940 until its closure in 2007. Facility operations included hard chromium plating, parts degreasing using solvents, stripping with acids, aqueous rinsing, grinding, and polishing. For over three decades, wastewater and waste streams generated at the facility were directly discharged without treatment via an underground pipe from the plating room into the wetlands south of the property. The wetlands extend onto southern abutting properties. The facility also used a surface impoundment and sludge lagoon for treated wastewater, underground storage tanks, a dry well for waste solvent disposal, and several above-ground storage tanks that had multiple overflow spills of solvents.

In August 2010, EPA conducted an emergency removal action to address the imminent risks to public health at the site. During that time, the W&L facility building and plating tanks were demolished, and contaminated soils were excavated from the wetlands; and on the east side of North Avenue, a permeable reactive barrier and engineered cover system were constructed to reduce/neutralize hexavalent chromium and contain movement of contaminated groundwater from entering Bliss Brook. The removal action activities were completed in 2014.

Opportunity to learn more and provide comment on the Proposed Plan:

The public is invited to submit written input on the Proposed Cleanup Plan during a 30-day comment period from July 26, 2019, through August 26, 2019.

To review the proposed cleanup plan and learn more about the Walton & Lonsbury Superfund Site, see: www.epa.gov/superfund/walton

EPA will hold a public information meeting on Wednesday, July 31, 2019, at 6:00 p.m. at the Attleboro Public Library, followed by a public hearing at the same location at 7:30 p.m. The public will be able to provide oral comments at this event.

Written comments may be mailed or emailed to:

Ethan Finkel
U.S. EPA Region 1 – New England
5 Post Office Square, Suite 100
Boston, MA 02109-3912
Email: finkel.ethan@epa.gov
Fax: 617-918-0293