For Immediate Release - March 17, 2017

ExxonMobil Corp. to Provide Public Water Connections in Charlton to Address Historic Gasoline Release from Former LaMountain Site

Access to New $20 Million Water Supply System to be offered to 192 Property Owners

BOSTON - ExxonMobil Corporation, a past operator of the former LaMountain Exxon service station at 142 Worcester Road (Route 20) in Charlton, has agreed to construct a public water supply system and offer connections to properties in Charlton, as outlined under a consent order finalized with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). The waterline is estimated to cost $20 million, to be borne by ExxonMobil, which will provide an additional $7.5 million to the Town of Charlton for operation and maintenance costs.

Sampling of private drinking water wells in the area of the former LaMountain's station since the early 1990s found gasoline compounds, including methyl-tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE), in several wells at levels that exceed MassDEP's applicable drinking water guidelines. Despite the removal of underground storage tanks, excavation of gasoline-contaminated soil, and treatment of groundwater at the former service station site, residual groundwater contamination in the bedrock aquifer continued to impact private wells in the area.

ExxonMobil has continued to sample potable wells for many years in the areas of Worcester Road, Old Worcester Road, Northside Road, L. Stevens Road, L. Turner Road, Main Street, Muggett Hill Road, Old Muggett Hill Road and Oxford Road. Since that time, the company has provided bottled water and/or water treatment systems to properties where contamination was detected.

The consent order with MassDEP requires ExxonMobil to install approximately seven miles of water line from the Town of Southbridge and to offer free connections to 192 properties in the area, regardless of whether contaminants have been detected in the private wells of those properties. The consent order also establishes deadlines for the water line construction and, once constructed, provides up to a year for impacted homes to connect to the new water line. ExxonMobil will also disconnect each private well that is connected to the public water supply.

"The water line faced several technical and legal issues that required a concerted effort by ExxonMobil, the towns of Charlton and Southbridge, and MassDEP to solve," said Mary Jude Pigsley, director of MassDEP's Central Regional Office in Worcester. "ExxonMobil has committed to making clean drinking water available for property owners who choose to connect."  

MassDEP is responsible for ensuring clean air and water, safe management and recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources.

# # #