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United States Environmental Protection Agency
Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England
  Serving Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont & 9 Tribal Nations
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Site Type: Short Term/Removal (SHORT) Click to see more about Site Type and how it is used?


New Bedford,  Massachusetts
Bristol County
Street Address: 740 Belleville Avenue
Zip Code: 02745-6010

EPA ID #: MAN000103307
Site ID #: 0103307
Site Alias:

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For the most up to date information please visit: http://www.epa.gov/nbh/aerovox

Current Status
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Pursuant to a January 2010 Action Memorandum for a Non-Time Critical Removal Action (NTCRA) and a settlement with AVX Corporation (AVX) that became effective on June 3, 2010, the vacant Aerovox mill will be carefully dismantled and the building debris will be disposed off-site at appropriately licensed landfills. AVX will perform the dismantling, and the City of New Bedford, per a Cooperative Agreement with EPA, will transport the building material off-site for disposal. Stringent air and water monitoring performance standards will be used to ensure that the project is performed safely. Once the building is removed, AVX will place clean backfill into the basement and cap the site. Pursuant to a parallel settlement with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, AVX will then proceed with further assessment and site cleanup under the state's "Chapter 21E" site cleanup program. AVX also settled with the City of New Bedford to ensure that long term monitoring and maintenance was funded, to provide a clean utility corridor for redevelopment, and to establish a cost-sharing approach for a shoreline greenway.

Planning and procurement activities for the building dismantling are underway. On-site mobilization and initiation of pre-dismantling activities are expected to begin in spring 2011. Actual dismantling of the building is expected to begin in fall 2011.

Additional Site Background

In 1997, due to the identification of very high levels of PCBs within the interior of the building and the presence of PCBs in uncapped soils outside the building, Aerovox, Inc. (Aerovox) prepared the 1998 Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis (EE/CA). The 1998 EE/CA evaluated three alternatives for demolishing the building, disposing the demolition waste, and capping the entire site. In 1999 EPA entered into an Administrative Order on Consent with Aerovox pursuant to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) to perform the cleanup recommended in the 1998 EE/CA. In April 2001, Aerovox relocated to a new facility and in June 2001, filed for bankruptcy. The building demolition and capping in the RCRA Order was thus not performed and the building has remained vacant since April 2001. The EPA settled its claim in the bankruptcy and the proceeds, although insufficient, will contribute to the site's cleanup.

Site risks remain consistent with those presented in the 1998 EE/CA, with PCBs in soil and groundwater posing a risk to human health and the environment. In addition, the long-term vacancy of the building poses a significant fire threat (other vacant mill buildings in the area have caught on fire recently). Air emissions created by a fire and run-off from fire suppression activities into the Harbor pose threats to human health and the environment. Moreover, since Aerovox vacated the building, significant deterioration has occurred including increased roof leaks and heavy water damage throughout the building. Trespassing and vandalism (and the potential for tracking contamination off-site) are a recurring problem.

In April 2006, after securing additional funding to supplement the bankruptcy proceeds, the EPA prepared a Supplemental EE/CA to a) update the cost estimates of the 1998 EE/CA, b) evaluate two new alternatives for the site, and c) allow additional public comment on these issues. In response to the public comments received, EPA has selected building demolition with off-site disposal of the demolition debris and site capping as the remedy for the federal portion of the site's cleanup. On January 27, 2010 EPA finalized the NTCRA at the site which incorporated these cleanup elements.

EPA has also performed additional sampling of building materials, groundwater and asphalt at the site. As part of these additional efforts, elemental mercury was identified in the building (used as controls and switches within the mill), some of which had spilled on to the floor. Approximately 25 pounds of mercury was removed and disposed off site in December 2007, and approximately 1,000 pounds of mercury and associated debris was removed and disposed offsite in February and March 2008.

Other previous efforts by the EPA included a Removal Action for drum removal from 4/24/2004 through 11/17/2004, PCB sampling of the asphalt parking lot in spring 2004, a Conceptual Site Model assessment (including groundwater and surface water run-off sampling) in March 2006, and continued annual groundwater monitoring.

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SDMS 480766

Aerovox Mill in center of photo (property with paved area close to shoreline)

For additional photos of the Aerovox and New Bedford Harbor cleanup http://www.flickr.com/photos/24400159@N05/5242413878/

Links to Other Information
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Disclaimer Instructions about PDF

Site Profile  
POLREPs (Pollution Reports)  
Administrative Record Index, RCRA Administrative Order on Consent, September 22, 1999 (Opening file 299 KB with links to additional PDF files)  
Administrative Record Index, Removal Action, July 1, 2004 (Opening file 327 KB with links to additional PDF files)  
Administrative Record Index, Supplemental Removal Action, May 1, 2008 (Opening file 125 KB with links to additional PDF files)  
Action Memorandum: Request for a Non-Time-Critical Removal Action (NTCRA), January 10, 2010 (4.9 MB, PDF)   
Administrative Record Index, Supplemental RCRA Administrative Order on Consent (signed February 9, 2001) , February 1, 2010 (Opening file is 273 KB with links to additional PDF files)  
Administrative Record Index, Non-Time Critical Removal Action (NTCRA), March 1, 2010 (Opening file is 267 KB with links to additional PDF files)  
View Records of Decision (RODS) on-line (EPA HQ)  

Public Record Locations
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Wilkes Branch Library, 1911 Acushnet Ave, New Bedford, MA 02740 (508) 991-6214
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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Bill Lovely
On-Scene Coordinator
Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
5 Post Office Square, Suite 100
Mail Code OSRR07-4
Boston, MA 02109-3912
Phone #:(617) 918-1240
E-Mail Address:lovely.william@epa.gov

Jeanethe Falvey
EPA Community Involvement Coordinator
Address:US Environmental Protection Agency
5 Post Office Square, Suite 100
Mail Code ORA20-1
Boston, MA 02109-3912
Phone #:(617) 918-1020
E-Mail Address:falvey.jeanethe@epa.gov

Molly Cote
State Agency Contact
Phone #:(508) 946-2792
E-Mail Address:molly.cote@state.ma.us


Serving Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, & 10 Tribal Nations
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Last updated on Tuesday, October 11th, 2011
URL: http://www.epa.gov/region1/superfund/sites/aerovox