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Settlement Repays Cleanup Costs for Whitman Cistern Site in Whitman, Mass.

Release Date: 11/30/2012
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – Nov. 30, 2012) – EPA has reached a settlement with two related companies for reimbursement of EPA’s past costs for the remediation of contamination at the Whitman Cistern Site, located in Whitman, Mass.  The settlement, recently lodged in U.S. District Court, requires Brown Shoe Co. Inc. and Brown Group Retail, Inc. to pay $450,000.

The Site is an undeveloped 20-acre lot, located south of 401 South Avenue in Whitman, Mass.  The former buildings at the Site were demolished about 1973.  The Site is adjacent to an eastern tributary of the Shumatuscant River, also known as Beech Hill Brook.  Regal Shoe Co. manufactured shoes at the Site from about 1903 to 1954, when the company merged into Brown Shoe Co.  Shoe manufacturing continued at the Site for several more years under different ownership.  The liability of the later owners eventually passed to Brown Group Retail, Inc. through a series of mergers.  The Site is not listed on the Superfund National Priorities List.

Between Dec. 2005 and June 2006, EPA conducted a removal action to address hazardous substances, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, lead and mercury, which posed threats to human health and the environment. Specifically, EPA removed about 2,800 tons of contaminated soils, demolished and removed three interconnected settling tanks or “cisterns,” and removed about 10,000 gallons of contaminated sludge contained within the cisterns.

The proposed Consent Decree is subject to a 30-day comment period, which will end on December 28, 2012.  The settlement requires approval by the U.S. District Court before becoming final.

More information: Proposed settlement and how to comment: http://www.justice.gov/enrd/5857.htm .

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