News Releases from Region 01
EPA Continues to Ensure Public Health Protection at Superfund Sites
EPA Expects to Begin Reviews of 12 Site Cleanups during 2017
BOSTON - EPA has begun reviewing site cleanups at 12 National Priorities List Sites (Superfund Sites) including two 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 cleanup remedies for hazardous waste sites, EPA's first goal is to make sure remedies 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 review of the cleanup every five years. It is important for EPA to regularly review progress to ensure the remedy is working properly to clean up 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.
This year, EPA will review remedies at sites like the Hanscom Air Force Base, where military use of the site resulted in contamination of groundwater and subsurface soil. Hanscom Airforce Base is still an active military base, where the Electronic Systems Center for the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. allies is located. It is also the home to the L.G. Hanscom Field a civilian airport operated by the Massachusetts Port Authority.
EPA will also conduct a comprehensive review of the ongoing cleanup at the Auburn Road Landfill Superfund Site in Londonderry New Hampshire. The site operated from the 1960s until 1980 as a disposal area for chemical wastes, tires, demolition debris and solid waste. Cleanup at the site has included the extension of a public water supply line to residents impacted by the site, as well as the construction of impermeable caps for the three landfills at the site. Cleanup and monitoring of contaminated groundwater at the site is still ongoing, but parts of the site that have been capped and cleaned up are now being used recreationally as a model airplane flying field. This was the result of collaboration between EPA the New Hampshire flying Tigers Academy of Model Aeronautics and the Town of Londonderry.
The New England Superfund Sites where EPA will begin Five Year Reviews in Fiscal Year 2017 are below. Please note, the web link provided provides detailed information on site status and past assessment and cleanup activity. Once the Five Year Review is complete, a report of its findings will be posted to this website. 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.