EPA and others address groundwater cleanup at the Nuclear Metals, Inc. Superfund Site in Concord, Mass.

The cleanup, including EPA oversight costs, is estimated at $5.7 million.

The Nuclear Metals Superfund Site. Courtesy: NMISite.org.
The Nuclear Metals Superfund Site. Courtesy: NMISite.org.

BOSTON, JULY 15, 2016 -- A recent settlement agreement between EPA and Whittaker Corp., Textron Inc., U.S Army, and U.S Department of Energy addresses the cleanup of contaminated groundwater at the Nuclear Metals, Inc. Superfund Site in Concord, Mass.

Under the settlement, Whittaker and Textron will perform a non-time critical removal action for groundwater cleanup at the Concord site, which will be financed in large part by the federal government responsible parties. The cleanup, including EPA oversight costs, is estimated at $5.7 million.

The Nuclear Metals, Inc. site, also known as the Starmet Corp. site, includes a 46+ acre parcel located at 2229 Main Street in Concord, Mass. and surrounding areas where groundwater contamination has migrated. Several prior owners/operators used the site for research and specialized metals manufacturing, and were licensed to possess low-level radioactive substances.

From 1958 to 1985, wastes contaminated with depleted uranium, copper, and nitric acid were disposed into an unlined holding basin at the site. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which likely contained 1,4-dioxane as a stabilizer, were used as solvents and degreasers for cleaning of machines and machined parts/products, and discharged through floor drains to an on-site cooling water pond resulting in contamination of an on-site supply well.

Sampling during the late stages of the Site Investigation determined that a 1,4-dioxane plume at the site was migrating. Cleanup of the groundwater is part of EPA's overall remedy for the site. The Site Remedy was selected in EPA's Sept. 2015 "Record of Decision." EPA elected to address VOCs and 1,4-dioxane in groundwater in a separate, early action to contain the plume and prevent further migration. Specifically, this early action will prevent migration to a "down-gradient" well field for the town of Acton's public water supply.

The groundwater action includes the design and construction of a groundwater treatment system and initial operation of the system. Containment of the contaminated groundwater should begin during the summer of 2016, and the construction of the treatment system will be underway during 2016 as well. Another removal action is currently underway at the site, financed and performed by the responsible parties, to demolish contaminated facility buildings. Demolition of onsite buildings began in 2015 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.

More information on EPA's cleanup of the Nuclear Metals Site (www.epa.gov/superfund/nmi)

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