MCP/21E Process Underway at Former Aerovox Facility in New Bedford
In September, 2013, MassDEP issued an approval in accordance with its authority under MGL c.21E and the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP) to begin the assessment and cleanup at the former Aerovox Facility, located on Belleville Avenue in New Bedford. Contaminants, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and trichloroethylene (TCE) were released to the environment as a result of manufacturing operations that occurred at the Site from approximately 1938 to 2001, when the Site was vacated. Contamination from the Site has migrated to New Bedford Harbor, which is the subject of a separate cleanup being conducted under the federal Superfund law. A link to the USEPA’s website for the New Bedford Harbor Superfund Site is provided below.
At the former Aerovox Facility itself, in 2010 and 2011, under oversight by the USEPA, the heavily contaminated, blighted structure was demolished and removed from the property. The 12 acre parcel was then temporarily capped with asphalt paving. A link to USEPA’s website regarding the Site history and removal action is provided below.
The City of New Bedford currently owns the property and a private company, AVX, Inc. is performing the assessment and cleanup. Through the MCP compliance activities that have now commenced, MassDEP’s Southeast Regional Office is providing project oversight as the cleanup process proceeds. The main goals of the MCP process are to provide the information necessary to be able to control any sources of contamination on the Site, ensure that Site contamination is not migrating off-Site, eliminate any risk that may be posed by the Site contamination and to achieve a solution on the property that will allow for some future redevelopment of the City-owned property.
The first phase of this process, the comprehensive assessment phase is expected to take approximately 1.5 years and the Phase II Comprehensive Site Assessment is due to be submitted to MassDEP by March 19, 2015. This is a necessary first-step toward understanding the extent of contamination and evaluating methods to control and remediate the contamination at the Site. As the process continues, updated Site information can be found in MassDEP’s electronic files for the Site, a link to which is provided below.