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Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England
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 Site Type: Long Term/National Priorities List (NPL) Click to see more about Site Type and how it is used?


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 Londonderry,  New Hampshire
 Rockingham County
 Street Address: Auburn Road
 Zip Code: 03053

 EPA ID #: NHD980524086
 Site ID #: 0101137
 Site Aliases:

 Site Responsibility: Federal, Municipal, Potentially Responsible Parties

 Proposed Date 12/30/1982
 Final Date 09/08/1983

Site Description
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The Auburn Road Landfill in Londonderry is a 200-acre site that consists of three separate disposal areas which cover slightly more than 12-acres. The three disposal areas include: the former Londonderry Town Dump, which operated during the 1960's and was used for the disposal of over 1,000 drums of chemical waste; a tire disposal area, where tires and demolition debris and several hundred drums of chemical waste were dumped; and a solid waste landfill, the largest disposal area, which was active until the State ordered the entire landfill closed in 1980 after hazardous wastes were identified in soil, and toxic organic substances were found in surface water and ground water. In 1986, EPA determined that contaminated ground water was flowing off-site toward drinking water supply wells at the Whispering Pines Mobile Home Park, and potentially towards other private residential wells in the area. The area surrounding the landfill is residential and commercial, and the 300 homes and 270 mobile homes within a 1-mile radius primarily used ground water as a source of drinking water until municipal water was supplied to these homes in 1987. Approximately 1,000 people live within 3 miles of the site. Two unnamed streams drain from the site and flow into Cohas Brook, which in turn empties into the Merrimack River. A former septage lagoon, which was located just northeast of the solid waste landfill, was excavated and disposed of within the solid waste landfill by the Town prior to 1996.

Threats and Contaminants
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The soils are contaminated with VOCs and inorganics, as well as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and pesticides. Fencing and capping of the town dump, the tire dump, and solid waste landfill areas (which includes the excavated materials from the former septage lagoon) has decreased the likelihood of exposure to contaminated soils; however, the areas adjacent to the fences are used for riding dirt bikes and horses. The ground water is contaminated with inorganic chemicals. Exposure to contaminated ground water was eliminated when the municipal water supply was extended to local residents; however, bedrock fractures may promote migration of contaminants into off-site ground water and present a potential threat to private wells located outside the area provided by municipal water. The site includes large areas of wetlands, which are environmentally sensitive.

Cleanup Approach
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The site was addressed in four stages: initial actions and three long-term remedial phases focusing on providing a municipal water supply, cleaning up the ground water contamination, and capping the site.

Response Action Status
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Initial Action The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) temporarily relocated 17 families beginning in early 1986. At the same time, EPA excavated approximately 1,900 drums in three locations and then restored two of the excavated areas. Drums were consolidated, covered, and sampled prior to their disposal off-site. Between 1987 and 1988, the owner fenced the four disposal areas and posted warning signs. In 1988, the EPA excavated an additional 316 drums from a tire dump area.

Water Supply Line In late 1987, the Town of Londonderry extended the current water service provided by the Manchester Water Works to 17 homes along Auburn Road and to 260 mobile homes in the Whispering Pines Mobile Home Park. Nine thousand linear feet of water line was installed. The Town of Londonderry constructed and paid for the water supply line under an agreement with the EPA.

Groundwater In 1989, the EPA Record of Decision (ROD) called for the collection of contaminated ground water through a series of overburden and bedrock extraction wells, and the use of ground water collection trenches. Inorganic contamination was to be removed using chemical precipitation while organic contaminants were to be treated using a combination of air stripping and, if necessary, carbon treatment. A study conducted in 1994 concluded that VOCs in ground water no longer exceeded the established cleanup levels. High levels of arsenic, however, still existed. EPA evaluated methods of addressing arsenic contamination and determined that capping the landfill (completed in 1996) would likely achieve the established cleanup levels within the same time frame as an active remedy. Based on that determination, EPA issued an Amended Record of Decision in 1996 changing the ground water cleanup action to natural attenuation with ground water, surface water, and sediment sampling required. A study conducted by the USGS in 2013 determined that leachate from the landfills was contributing to elevated arsenic levels. Further investigations are being conducted to further characterize the hydrogeologic framework at the Site and the interaction between leachate and arsenic.

Capping The 1989 ROD also specified that a multi-layer cap be placed over the solid waste area, the town dump area, and the tire dump area to reduce the further spread of contaminants into the ground water. The Town of Londonderry completed construction of the multi-layer caps in 1996. In addition, approximately 7 acres of wetlands which were disturbed during cap construction were replicated by creating new, constructed wetlands.

Enforcement HighlightsA final settlement was reached in 1999 with the potentially responsible parties for payment of past and future response costs and for any future remedial actions.

Environmental Progress
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The EPA, FEMA, and the Town of Londonderry have acted to protect area residents from site contamination by historically relocating affected populations, erecting a fence to restrict site access, providing a safe water supply, and removing a large number of drums containing contaminants. The existing landfill caps are also reducing the further spread of contamination as natural attenuation processes are slowly working to cleanup the ground water at the site. Investigations are being conducted to better characterize the extent of arsenic contamination and how it is impacted by leachate from the landfills.

Current Site Status
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Based on information provided in the Fifth Five-Year Review report for the site that was issued in September 2012, EPA believes that for the groundwater remedy to be protective in the long-term and to achieve the new Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for arsenic of 10 parts per billion, groundwater institutional controls must be established and enforced throughout the groundwater plume on-Site and off-Site. Additionally, the long-term monitoring program needs to be modified to better assess water levels and geochemical conditions in the aquifer, previous modeling efforts need to be updated to determine a more accurate estimate of cleanup times, alternatives to natural attenuation need to be evaluated, and the potential vapor intrusion pathway must be evaluated. A study was conducted in 2013 to better characterize the hydrogeologic framework, and identify potential preferential groundwater flow paths for landfill leachate; and assess arsenic transport processes and potential geochemical reactions controlling arsenic concentrations at the site. Further investigations are being conducted by the potentially responsible parties based on the findings of this 2013 USGS study.

Site Photos
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SDMS 452938
A view of the toe of the solid waste landfill.

Links to Other Site Information
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Disclaimer Instructions about PDF

Newsletters & Press Releases:
Press Releases about this project  

Federal Register Notices:
Final NPL Listing  

Administrative Records:
Index only: OU 01 Record of Decision (ROD), September 17, 1986 (1,108 KB)  
Index only: OU 02 Record of Decision (ROD), September 29, 1989 (639 KB)  
Index only: OU 02 Record of Decision (ROD) Amendment, December 19, 1996 (169 KB)  
Removal Action 2 - NPL Site Administrative Record (AR) Index, September 22, 1992 (516 KB)  
Removal Action 1 - Administrative Record (AR) Index, January 22, 1992 (520 KB)  
Administrative Record Collections  

Reports and Studies:
Five Year Review Report, September, 30, 1992 (478KB)  
Second Five Year Report, September 29, 1997 (2396KB)  
Third Five Year Report, September 24, 2002 (319KB)  
Fourth Five Year Review Report, September 28, 2007 (2.76 MB)  
Fifth Five Year Review Report, September 27, 2012 (6.3 MB)  
2012 Source Control Operation and Maintenance Report, February 1, 2013 (23.4 MB)  
Hydrogeologic Framework, Arsenic Distribution, and Groundwater Geochemistry of the Glacial-Sediment Aquifer, 2013 (3.43 MB)  
2012 Annual Report Long-Term Environmental Monitoring Program, September 5, 2013 (23.5 MB)  
2012 Fact Sheet - Groundwater Operable Unit, September 25, 2013 (552KB)  
2013 Operation and Maintenance Report, February 1, 2014 (6.39 MB)  

Decision Documents:
View Records of Decision (RODS) on-line (EPA HQ)  
Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD), August 04, 2009 (536 KB)  
Institutional Controls at this site  

Other Links:
NPL Site Narrative at Listing:  
Site Progress Profile  
Groundwater Management Permit No. GWP-198803007-L-002, December 13, 2012 (417 KB)  
Document Collections  

Site Repositories
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Leach Public Library, 276 Mammoth Road, Londonderry, NH 03053

OSRR Records and Information Center, 1st Floor, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100 (HSC), Boston, MA 02109-3912 (617) 918-1440

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EPA Remedial Project Manager: Richard Hull
Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
5 Post Office Square, Suite 100
Mail Code OSRR07-1
Boston, MA 02109-3912
Phone #: 617-918-1882
E-Mail Address: hull.richard@epa.gov

EPA Community Involvement Coordinator: Rodney Elliot
Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
New England Regional Laboratory
11 Technology Drive
Chelmsford, MA 01863-2431
Phone #: 617-918-8372
E-Mail Address: elliot.rodney@epa.gov

State Agency Contact: Michael Summerlin
Address: NHDES, 29 Hazen Drive, PO Box 95
Concord, New Hampshire 03302-0095
Phone #: 603-271-3649
E-Mail Address: Michael.SummerlinJR@des.nh.gov


Serving Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, & 10 Tribal Nations
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Last updated on Wednesday, November 4th, 2015
URL: http://www.epa.gov/region1/superfund/sites/auburnroad