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$125 Million Settlement to Clean up Contaminated Groundwater, Soil, and Sediments at Nuclear Metals Site in Massachusetts

A December 6, 2019, court-approved consent decree between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Textron, Inc., Whittaker Corporation, and the U.S. Army and the U.S. Department of Energy, valued at $125 million, provides for the final phase of a multi-phased cleanup at the Nuclear Metals, Inc. Superfund site in Concord, Massachusetts. Textron, Inc. and Whittaker Corporation will perform the cleanup work based on the Agency’s 2015 plan to address the contamination at the site. The federal agencies will provide funds for cleanup. Additionally, the parties will pay the EPA’s past costs of about $400,000, as well as the EPA’s future costs to oversee the cleanup.

The cleanup work at the site will protect the water supply in nearby Acton, Massachusetts. Additionally, under the Agency’s Superfund Redevelopment Initiative, the EPA is working with the town of Concord to identify opportunities for future reuse at the site and to gather community input throughout the process. 

“This settlement allows EPA to move forward on the much-needed cleanup of contaminated groundwater, soil and sediment at this site.  It’s a good example of EPA’s cleanup enforcement program bringing potentially responsible federal and private parties together to achieve clean up at contaminated sites.” Susan Bodine, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance

On this page:

Information about the Companies

The private parties to the consent decree are: Textron, Inc. and Whittaker Corporation

These parties were owners and/or operators of the Site at the time of disposal of hazardous substances. Textron Inc., directly or as a corporate successor, was an operator of the Site from 1958 to 1966. Whittaker Corp. was an owner and operator of the Site from 1966 to 1972. Both parties performed depleted uranium manufacturing processes under contract with the federal PRPs.

Information about the Nuclear Metals Superfund Site

The Nuclear Metals site includes a 46-acre parcel located in Concord, MA, and surrounding areas where groundwater contamination has migrated. The site property is bordered by woods, homes, commercial and industrial properties, and to the north in part by the Assabet River. Analytical results indicate the groundwater beneath the property, which is not a source of public drinking water, is contaminated with radioactive material – depleted uranium – and to a lesser extent, volatile organic compounds (VOCs). 

The facility was listed as a Superfund site in 2001 and the EPA placed a temporary cover over the holding basin in 2002 to address one of the most immediate risks at the site. Some 185,000 square feet of building space was demolished between 2011 and 2017 at a cost of $54 million under a previous agreement between these parties and the EPA.

More information about the site is available on the Agency’s Nuclear Metals, Inc. Superfund site profile webpage.

Overview of the Remedial Design/Remedial Action Consent Decree

The remedial design/remedial action (RD/RA) consent decree was approved by the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Under the agreement, Textron, Inc. and Whittaker will perform the following work at the site:

  • Excavation and off-site disposal of about 82,500 cubic yards of contaminated materials.
  • Stabilization of depleted uranium contaminated soils in the holding basin.
  • Extraction and treatment of groundwater for volatile organic compounds and 1,4-dioxane.
  • Treatment of depleted uranium and natural uranium in groundwater.
  • Long-term monitoring to monitor the effectiveness of in- and ex-situ treatment.
  • Land use controls to prevent disturbance of the Holding Basin area and use of site groundwater, and to address potential vapor intrusion risks.

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Contact Information

For more information contact:

Sarah Meeks
Assistant Regional Counsel
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Region 1
5 Post Office Square
Boston, MA 02109
(617) 918-1438

Brian Motto
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20460
(202) 564-6009

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