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EPA REACHES MAJOR SUPERFUND SETTLEMENT WITH VERMONT FIRM

Release Date: 09/16/1996
Contact Information: Kristen Conroy, Community Relations, (617)918-1069 Ed Hathaway, Project Manager, (617) 573-5782

BOSTON -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the State of Vermont reached a final settlement today with BFI of Vermont, Inc. and Disposal Specialists, Inc. that calls for the companies to perform all of the future operation, maintenance, and monitoring at the BFI-Rockingham Landfill Superfund Site in Vermont.

The settling parties will also reimburse the EPA for $80,000 in past costs and up to $200,000 of future oversight costs. As a result of this and several previous settlements, the parties will have performed work and reimbursed costs equal to 98 percent of the total site cleanup costs.

"This settlement should effectively close the book on the old Rockingham Landfill," said John P. DeVillars, administrator for the EPA in New England. "Our positive working relationship with the State of Vermont and BFI of Vermont, Inc. has propelled this site to cleanup in four short years -- a noteworthy accomplishment for the Superfund program. The people of Rockingham can take comfort in knowing that the landfill no longer threatens the environment or public health of people who live, work and play in this beautiful Vermont area."

"This project truly stands out as a success among Superfund sites in Vermont, credit for which is due to all parties involved," said Vermont Agency of Natural Resources Secretary Barbara Ripley. "BFI should be recognized for their responsible, proactive approach to this cleanup, and EPA deserves credit for acceleration of standard process to allow for timely action. This project provides an excellent example for future cleanups to follow."

The settlement marks the third and final such agreement for work at the site. Previous settlements have allowed for field teams to investigate the extent of contamination, construct a cap on top of the landfill, expand the gas collection and treatment system, install a 300 foot interceptor trench along U.S. Route 5 to collect leachate and control surface water run-off from the site.

Under the new agreement, BFI of Vermont, Inc. and Disposal Specialists, Inc. are responsible for performing the long term operation and maintenance at the Site to ensure that the treatment systems run smoothly and the cap is not damaged. The company also will test the site's underlying groundwater periodically to monitor the contamination. The new agreement also assures a long-term water supply for several nearby residents.

Through natural attenuation, the groundwater outside the edge of the landfill is expected to be restored to drinking water quality within the next 10 to 15 years. In the meantime, people will be prevented from installing any new wells in the area of groundwater contamination.

Soil and groundwater beneath the site are contaminated with solvents, metals and a number of other pollutants commonly found in municipal landfills.

From 1968 until 1991, the landfill received approximately 1.2 million cubic yards of residential, commercial and industrial solid and liquid waste. The site currently consists of a 17-acre solid waste landfill and the surrounding areas impacted by landfill-related contamination. A portion of the site is used as an office, waste management dispatch area, a staging area for recycling, and a vehicle maintenance area.

The EPA and Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation will continue to oversee future activities at the site under the terms of the settlement.

Upon filing the settlement, known as a "consent decree," a notice will be published in the Federal Register. Following a 30-day comment period, the settlement -- if approved by the court -- will become final. A copy of the Settlement is available in the Rockingham Free Library and at the EPA Record Center in Boston, MA. Any comments regarding the new Settlement should be sent to:


Assistant Attorney General
U.S. DOJ
Environment and Natural Resources Division
U.S. vs BFIVT Consent Decree
DOJ Ref. No. 90-11-2-847A
Washington, D.C. 20530

by the end of the 30 day comment period.