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Case Summary: Cleanup Settlement Reduces Threat of Contaminated Groundwater in Massachusetts

On July 12, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement agreement with several potentially responsible parties (PRPs) worth approximately $5.7 million to prevent contamination of the public water supply wellfield in Acton, Mass. with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hazardous wastes. Specifically, the cleanup work will prevent migration of VOCs and wastes from the contaminated water plume at the Nuclear Metals Superfund site and protect the health of the town’s 20,000 residents.

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Information about the potentially responsible parties

The primary PRP for the site is the United States. The U.S. Army and the Department of Energy (DOE), as a successor of the Atomic Energy Corporation, arranged for the disposal of hazardous substances at the site. The federal PRPs retained title to depleted uranium processed and disposed of at the site and are former owners and/or operators of the site because they owned equipment utilized to manufacture depleted uranium ordnance and munitions.

From 1958 to 1966, Textron, Inc., (Textron) or its corporate successor, was an operator of the site. From 1966 to 1972, Whittaker Corporation (Whittaker) was an owner and operator of the site. From 1978 to 1999, Starmet was a defense contractor that manufactured depleted-uranium munitions at the site for the Army.

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Information about the Nuclear Metals, Inc. Superfund Site

The Nuclear Metals, Inc. Superfund site, also known as the Starmet Corporation site, is located on a 46-acre parcel in Concord, Mass. Nuclear Metals made depleted uranium products, primarily for armor-piercing ammunition. It also manufactured metal powders for medical applications, photocopiers, and specialty metal products such as beryllium tubing used in the aerospace industry. From 1958 to 1985, waste was discharged into an unlined holding basin. Facility operations contaminated soil and groundwater with hazardous chemicals.

More information is available from the Nuclear Metals, Inc. Superfund site profile sheet.

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Summary of the settlement agreement

The cleanup work is being performed by the private PRPs. Under the settlement agreement, the private PRPs will pay 2% of the cleanup costs and perform the work. The federal PRPs will pay 98% of the cleanup costs and EPA’s oversight costs. All the PRPs will put funds into a trust which the private PRPs will use to perform the work and pay the remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS) oversight costs. The trust also serves as the financial assurance mechanism for the settlement agreement.

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Contact Information

For more information, contact

Clarence Featherson
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20460
(202) 564-4234

Sarah Meeks
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Region 1
5 Post Office Square
Boston, MA 02109-3912
(617) 918-1438

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