Proposed Settlement Reached for Soil, Sediment and Groundwater Cleanup at Wells G&H Superfund Site in Woburn, Mass.
BOSTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Justice announced today a proposed settlement between the United States and 16 parties that will require the design and implementation of cleanup actions in the southwestern portion of the Wells G&H Superfund Site, known as Operable Unit 4 (OU4) or the "Southwest Properties" (SWP), in Woburn, Massachusetts.
The proposed settlement, if approved by the federal court, will require cleanup measures on the southwestern portion of this Superfund site. The cleanup being made possible through this settlement agreement will protect human health and the environment by addressing unacceptable risks in site soils, wetlands, and groundwater.
"EPA is pleased to reach agreement with these settling parties to conduct an effective cleanup of the southwestern portion of the Wells G&H Superfund Site," said EPA New England Regional Administrator Dennis Deziel. "EPA has been engaged at this site for decades, and this agreement will continue the cleanup of contamination caused by former industrial activities at the site, further protecting public health and the environment. This is good news for the surrounding communities and the environment."
Under the proposed consent decree, three current or former owners or operators of parcels within the SWP, 280 Salem Street LLC; ConAgra Grocery Products Company, LLC, as successor-in-interest to Beatrice Company; and Murphy’s Waste Oil Service, Inc. are responsible for performing the cleanup work at the site. In addition, 13 arrangers for disposal of hazardous substances at the SWP will be required to make payments into a trust fund, to be used by the settling defendants performing the cleanup to help finance that work.
The settling defendants making payment into a trust fund are: Atos IT Solutions and Services Inc.; BASF Corporation; Cognis USA LLC; The Gillette Company; Goulston Technologies, Inc.; Pharmacia LLC, by it Attorney-In-Fact, Monsanto Company; NSTAR Electric Company d/b/a Eversource Energy; The Sherwin-Williams Company; Stepan Company; Organix, LLC; OSRAM SYLVANIA, Inc.; Varian Medical Systems, Inc.; and W.R. Grace & Co. – Conn.
The work includes excavation and off-site disposal of contaminated soil, non aqueous phase liquid (NAPL), NAPL-impacted soil, and wetland sediment; backfilling soil and NAPL excavations; construction of impermeable caps; pumping and treating contaminated groundwater; wetland restoration; operation and maintenance; long-term monitoring; 5-year reviews; and institutional controls.
EPA estimates that the remedial work will cost approximately $19.1 million.
The Wells G&H Superfund Site is a 330-acre tract of land within the Aberjona River Valley in Woburn. The site was placed on the National Priorities List (Superfund) in December 1982. EPA organized the cleanup work into four operable units. OU4 addresses the contaminated soil, wetland sediments/soils, groundwater, and NAPL at an area of the site known as the Southwest Properties. The SWP includes neighboring properties along Salem Street, known as the Aberjona Property, Whitney Property, and Murphy Property, which total approximately 13 acres. The SWP also includes the Murphy Wetland that encompasses approximately 1.3 acres extending along the northern border of the SWP.
The consent decree, lodged in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, is subject to a 30-day public comment period and approval by the federal court. The Consent Decree will be available on the U.S. Department of Justice website at https://www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decrees .
More information on EPA’s past and ongoing work at Wells G&H Superfund Site: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/wellsgh .