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Case Summary: B&M Corp. and MBTA Agree to Perform Cleanup of Iron Horse Park Superfund Site in Massachusetts

On October 7, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) reached a $4.2 Million settlement with Boston and Maine Corp. (B&M) and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) for partial reimbursement of EPA’s past costs, and for full payment and performance of future cleanup work at the Iron Horse Park Superfund Site, Operable Unit 4 (OU4), in Billerica, Mass. Between B&M and MBTA, the settling parties agreed to perform the $2.7 million cleanup remedy and also pay for 100% of EPA’s interim and future response costs, and 70% of EPA’s past costs incurred with respect to OU4 of the site.

Continuing to clean up the site is important to the environmentally engaged community of Billerica. In December 2014, EPA awarded its first-ever “Superfund Excellence in Site Re-use” awards in New England. The award was presented to the Iron Horse Park project team, including the town of Billerica, for successfully installing a solar farm on part of the site. This innovative and forward-thinking redevelopment project transformed the previously underutilized property into a source of abundant, clean, renewable energy. This settlement represents EPA’s commitment to cleaning up other areas of the site.

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Information about the Companies

Boston and Maine Corporation (B&M): The Boston and Maine Corporation, known as the Boston and Maine Railroad, was a former U.S. Class I railroad in northern New England. It became part of what is now the Pan Am Railways network in 1983.

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA): The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, often referred to as the MBTA or The T, is the public operator of most bus, subway, commuter rail, and ferry routes in the greater Boston, Massachusetts area.

Information about Iron Horse Park Superfund Site

Iron Horse Park, a 553-acre industrial complex that includes manufacturing and rail yard maintenance facilities, is located in North Billerica, Mass. The site includes open storage areas, and former landfills and wastewater lagoons. The site contains contaminated soil, groundwater and sediment.

The site was listed on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1984. In 1997, EPA determined that site-wide groundwater, surface water and sediment should be addressed as a fourth Operable Unit. Work to address other contamination at the site was conducted under two previous operable units, and work on the third operable unit is ongoing. The cleanup decision by EPA on necessary cleanup actions for Operable Unit 4 is contained in the July 25, 2011 final “Record of Decision” and an “Explanation of Significant Differences” document dated July 22, 2014. Contaminants detected most frequently include volatiles, semi-volatiles, pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), asbestos, and metals.

The cleanup work includes excavation of contaminated sediment in B&M Pond, monitored natural recovery of contaminated sediment in other waterways, and long-term monitoring of contaminated groundwater.

More information about the Iron Horse Park Superfund Site.

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Summary of the Consent Decree

The settlement between the parties calls for B&M and MBTA to perform the $2.7 million remedy identified in EPA’s 2011 “Record of Decision” for Operable Unit 4 on the site, as modified by the 2014 Explanation of Significant Differences. The remedy addresses site-wide groundwater and localized sediment contamination. The two companies will also pay 100% of EPA’s interim and future response costs (including oversight costs), and approximately $1.5 million of EPA’s past costs associated with OU4. The settlement helps ensure that cleanup work at the site continues. The consent decree underwent a 30 day public comment period in November 2014 and was subsequently approved by the federal court.

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Contact information

For information contact

Barbara Gutierrez
Attorney Advisor
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20460

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