News Releases from Region 01
EPA Continues to Ensure Public Health Protection at Superfund Sites
EPA Completes Reviews at Nine Superfund Sites in 2016
BOSTON - EPA has completed comprehensive reviews of site cleanups at nine National Priorities List Sites (Superfund Sites), including four Federal Facilities, across New England by performing required Five-Year Reviews of each site. The Superfund program, a federal program established by Congress in 1980, investigates and cleans up the most complex, uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country and endeavors to return them to productive use.
Throughout the superfund process of designing and constructing a cleanup remedy for a hazardous waste site, EPA's first goal is to make sure the remedy will be protective of public health and the environment. Then, once a remedy or portion of a remedy has begun, EPA continues to ensure protectiveness by requiring comprehensive reviews of the cleanup every five years. It is important for EPA to regularly check on site progress to ensure the remedy is working properly at the site. In addition to extensive review of the remedy itself, its engineering, and its overall functionality, EPA may also look at outside variables that could potentially affect the performance of the remedy, such as redevelopment, impacts from storms or flooding, and overall wear and tear. Five-year review evaluations identify any issues and, if called for, recommend action(s) necessary to address them.
EPA is actively involved in Superfund studies and cleanups at 123 sites across New England. There are many phases of the Superfund cleanup process including planning for future use and redevelopment at sites and post cleanup monitoring of sites. EPA must ensure the remedy is protective of public health and the environment and any redevelopment will uphold the protectiveness of the remedy into the future. Last year, EPA reviewed remedies at sites like South Weymouth Naval Air Station where EPA continues to work with the Navy, the State, and a developer to move forward on a master plan to construct a very large mixed use community to put the site into productive reuse. The master plan currently includes over a thousand homes, millions of square feet for commercial operations, athletic fields and other facilities at the site.
EPA also reviewed the Materials Technology Lab (U.S. Army) in Watertown, Mass, where 30 acres of the former hazardous waste site are now a mixed use complex including apartments, retail stores, restaurants, offices, and various other businesses. Currently, EPA is working with the Army, the State, and a developer on further redevelopment plans for another portion of the Materials Technology Lab Site which includes upgraded utilities, a parking garage, several new buildings.
At the Eastern Surplus Company Superfund Site in Meddybemps, Maine, EPA found Native American artifacts and subsequently determined the northern part of the site was eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. This area, formerly an army surplus and salvage retailer, and now named N'tolonapemk ("Our Ancestor's Place") by the Passamaquoddy Tribe, is now a major archaeological research site. In 2012, parties constructed a commemorative patio and pathway for the area.
The complete list of New England Superfund Sites where EPA has completed Five Year Reviews in 2016 are below. Please note, the Web link provided after each site provides detailed information on site status, redevelopment efforts, past assessment and cleanup activity as well as the Five-Year Review report. The web link also provides contact information for the EPA Project Manager and Community Involvement Coordinator at each site. Community members and local officials are invited to contact EPA with any comments or concerns about a Superfund Site or the conclusions in the recent Five Year Review.