Forty-Nine Parties Agree to Pay for $30 Million Cleanup and $1.65 Million in Natural Resource Damages for the Sutton Brook Superfund Site in Tewksbury
Under the terms of the settlement, the responsible parties have agreed to pay for cleaning up the site and compensating for Natural Resource Damages (NRD) for injury to groundwater and wetlands at the site. This settlement resolves both state and federal liability claims. EEA and USFWS serve as state and federal natural resource trustees.
"The citizens of Tewksbury have had to live with the potential hazards of this site for many years. We are pleased that today's agreement will not only allow cleanup work to begin, but will also require the responsible parties to reimburse taxpayer dollars already spent at the site," said Attorney General Coakley.
"As the Commonwealth's natural resource trustee, I am extremely pleased that the cleanup of this Tewksbury hazardous waste site is getting underway and that a natural resource damage settlement has been reached to compensate for the groundwater and wetland resources injured by the contamination," said EEA Secretary Ian Bowles. "I applaud the multi-agency effort that produced today's settlement, under which those responsible for pollution at the Sutton Brook site will pay to fix it."
"The settlement requires a site cleanup that will be protective of the surrounding community, payment of compensation for the Commonwealth's response costs and for damages to natural resources, and the assessment and voluntary reduction of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from this cleanup work," said MassDEP General Counsel Margaret Stolfa.
The settlement, filed December 22, 2009, in Massachusetts Federal District Court, requires 20 of the 49 responsible parties to finance and perform the cleanup remedy, which was selected in the 2007 Record of Decision. The remedy, expected to cost approximately $29.98 million, includes excavation and consolidation of contaminated soil and sediment, installation of a cap at two landfills and a vertical barrier for groundwater diversion, a combination of natural attenuation and active treatment of contaminated groundwater, institutional controls and monitoring.
The remaining 29 responsible parties will make cash payments toward the cost of financing the remedy and for other purposes. In addition to performance of the cleanup remedy, this settlement includes $512,000 to reimburse MassDEP's past response costs and an obligation to pay for MassDEP's and EPA's future oversight costs. The parties will also pay $1,650,000 in Natural Resource Damages (NRD) to state and federal Trustees to restore injured resources to their baseline condition, compensate for the interim loss of resources, and reimburse the cost of conducting the damage assessments.
The settlement also includes a novel agreement intended to promote voluntary greenhouse gas emission reductions in the construction and operation of the response action, based on an evaluation of potential cost savings.
The 20 defendants responsible for performing the cleanup are: Amusement Industries Inc.; BASF Corporation; Boston and Maine Corporation; Browning-Ferris Industries Inc.; Allied Waste Systems Inc.; BFI Waste Systems of North America LLC; BTU International Inc.; E.I. DuPont De Nemours and Co.; Honeywell International Inc.; Mallinckrodt LLC; M/A-COM Inc.; Raytheon Company; Sears, Roebuck and Co.; Textron Systems Corp.; town of Tewksbury, Verizon New England Inc.; Waste Management of Massachusetts Inc.; Waste Management Disposal Services of Massachusetts Inc.; Waste Management of New Hampshire Inc. and Zeneca, Inc.
The Sutton Brook Superfund Site is located on South Street in Tewksbury, at the former Rocco's Landfill. It includes a 40-acre landfill with two large lobes, as well as additional areas of contaminated soil, with Sutton Brook flowing between the two lobes. The area had been used for waste disposal at least since 1957 and municipal, commercial, and industrial waste continued to be accepted there until about 1988. Investigations by the MassDEP and EPA that began in the 1980s, revealed the presence of various contaminants, primarily volatile organic compounds and semi-volatile organic compounds in the groundwater, surface water, soil, and sediments at the site.
Handling this matter for the Commonwealth were Assistant Attorneys General Louis Dundin and Matthew Brock of Attorney General Coakley's Environmental Protection Division and MassDEP Senior Counsel Andy Cohen and MassDEP Project Manager Dorothy Allen, and, for the NRD settlement, Dale Young, NRD Director, Anna Blumkin, Deputy General Counsel, and Karen Pelto, NRD Case Manager of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, and Molly Sperduto of the US Fish & Wildlife Service.