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Case Summary: EPA issues $104 Million Order for Cleanup Work at Centredale Manor Superfund Site

On June 10, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a Unilateral Administrative Order (UAO) valued at $104 million to Emhart Industries, Inc. (“Emhart”) and Black & Decker, Inc. (“Black & Decker”) to perform cleanup work at the Centredale Manor Restoration Project Superfund Site. The work includes performance of the remedial design, remedial action and operation and maintenance that was selected in the September 2012 record of decision (ROD) for the site.

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Information about the Companies

Emhart and Black & Decker, both subsidiaries of Stanley Black & Decker, are successors to Metro-Atlantic, Inc., the chemical manufacturing company that previously operated at the Site.

Information about the Centredale Manor Restoration Project Superfund Site

The main area of the Centredale Manor Restoration Project Superfund Site consists of approximately 9 acres and is known as the Source Area which is located North Providence, R.I. The entire site extends down the Woonasquatucket River from the Source Area, south to the Lyman Mill Dam, and includes the restored Allendale Dam. The site is contaminated with dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls and other hazardous substances in soil, sediment, groundwater and surface water.

Prior to 1936, the main area of the site was occupied by Centredale Worsted Mills, a woolens mill. Atlantic Chemical Company began operating on the main area of the site in approximately 1943. Atlantic Chemical Company changed its name in 1953 to Metro-Atlantic, Inc. and continued to operate until the early 1970s. New England Container Company, Inc. operated an incinerator-based drum reconditioning facility on a portion of the site from 1952 until approximately 1971. A major fire in 1972 destroyed most of the structures at the site. The Brook Village apartments were opened in 1977 and the Centredale Manor apartments were opened in 1982 on the grounds of these former facilities, with the two new buildings, parking lots and driveways occupying a large portion of the properties.

More information on the Centredale Manor Restoration Project Superfund Site.

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Summary of the Unilateral Administrative Order

On June 10, 2014, EPA issued a UAO under section 106(a) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) to Emhart and Black & Decker for the performance of the Remedial Design (RD) and Remedial Action (RA) and Operation and Maintenance (O&M) for the remedy described in the September 2012 ROD for the site.

The site is the subject of ongoing cost recovery and contribution litigation. Emhart filed suit against New England Container Company, a barrel recycler that operated on a portion of the site in 2006, and against the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Air Force, and the U.S. Department of Defense in 2011, seeking cost recovery and contribution for response costs Emhart had incurred at the site. The Department of Justice filed an answer on behalf of the federal agencies and counterclaims on behalf of both the federal agencies and EPA. The United States brought a third-party complaint in February 2012 against Black & Decker as successor to Emhart. The court consolidated the cases in March 2012. 

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Contact information

For information contact

Gretchen Muench
Enforcement Counsel
Region 1
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
5 Post Office Square, Suite 100 (OES04-3)
Boston, MA 02109

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

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