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Settlement for Old Southington Landfill Superfund Site Ensures Protections from Contaminated Groundwater

Release Date: 12/15/2009
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – Dec. 15, 2009) – Two settlements were recently entered into Federal Court that will provide the funding to perform ongoing work at the Old Southington Landfill Superfund Site in Southington, Conn. to protect people from groundwater contamination The settlement was agreed to by EPA, the U.S. Department of Justice, the State of Connecticut and numerous settling parties.

The agreements are formalized in two consent decrees which were entered at the Federal District Court for the District of Connecticut on Nov. 23. Together, the two consent decrees call for clean up work to proceed, as described in EPA’s Sept. 2006 “Record of Decision” for the site, and establishes funding responsibilities among “potentially responsible parties” to help finance the cleanup remedy.

The settlement calls for five performing parties with the largest volume contributions to the Site (Town of Southington, Conn., GenCorp Inc., Kraft Foods, Shell Oil Company, United Technologies Corporation) to pay a lump sum of $500,000 to cover EPA’s future oversight costs, pay $537,000 to the U.S. Department of the Interior for federal natural resource damages and pay $2,750,000 to the State of Connecticut for damages to natural resources under the State’s trusteeship.

The settlement requires the five performing parties to complete the cleanup remedy called for in EPA’s 2006 Record of Decision, which includes: establishing environmental land use restrictions on properties or portions of properties where groundwater contamination concentrations exceed State of Connecticut Remediation Standard Regulations; building ventilation systems, sub-slab depressurization systems, or similar technology, in buildings located over properties or portions of properties where groundwater contamination exceeds the State criteria; conducting groundwater monitoring in areas where the potential for vapor intrusion is a concern; performing operation and maintenance and monitoring of engineering and institutional controls to ensure remedial measures are performing as intended and continue to protect human health and the environment in the long-term; and conducting five-year reviews to ensure that health protection measures continue to be effective.

The second consent decree provides for 86 parties who contributed smaller amounts of waste to the site to pay $4,248,450. Their payments will be deposited into a trust account that is being managed by the five Performing Parties. A portion of these funds will be used by the Performing Parties to make the payments to help finance State and Federal Natural Resource Damages. The remaining funds will remain in the trust to provide financial assurance for the completion of the remedy under the first consent decree.

The Old Southington Landfill Superfund Site is an approximately twelve-acre former municipal landfill in Southington. The site was a municipal landfill in use from approximately 1920 until 1967. Different portions of the landfill were used for disposal of municipal, commercial and industrial waste materials, as well as wood and construction debris. After being closed by the Town and being covered to a depth of two feet, between 1973 and 1980 portions of the landfill property were subdivided and developed into residential, commercial, and industrial properties. EPA placed the Site on the National Priorities List (aka Superfund list) in Sept. 1984.

In 1994 EPA issued the first Record of Decision for the Old Southington Landfill which required the relocation of residences and businesses on the landfill, and which required construction of a cap incorporating a soil gas collection system over the landfill. The Record of Decision also required that additional groundwater investigation be undertaken to more fully assess the contamination from the landfill. Construction of a cap over both the northern and southern portions of the landfill was completed in 2001.

The cleanup actions to cap the landfill required by the 1994 Record of Decision were performed under the terms of three Consent Decrees finalized in 1998 and 1999. The 1998 and 1999 Consent Decrees did not address the groundwater contamination beneath the Site which is now being addresses in the 2009 Remedial Action and Remedial Design Consent Decree.

More information:

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Old Southington Landfill Superfund Site (www.epa.gov/region1/superfund/sites/oldsouthington)

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