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Cleanup Plan Proposed for the Nuclear Metals Site in Concord, Mass.

Release Date: 11/03/2014
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

BOSTON – EPA has released for public review and comment a proposed cleanup plan for the Nuclear Metals, Inc. Superfund Site, located in Concord, Mass., to address contaminated soil, sediment and groundwater at the Site.

EPA has scheduled a public information meeting and a formal public hearing to comment on the plan. The public information meeting will take place on Nov. 12, 2014 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Concord Town House, 2nd Floor 22 Monument Square in Concord. The formal public hearing will take place on Dec. 10, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. also at the Concord Town House.

The public meeting and hearing are in conjunction with a 30-day Public Comment period for the Proposed Plan that will begin Nov. 13 and end Dec. 15, 2014. EPA will also provide an update at the informational meeting regarding the ongoing cleanup and upcoming demolition of the facility buildings.

The Proposed Plan explains the various cleanup options being considered by EPA for the Site including EPA’s preferred cleanup alternative. EPA’s preferred cleanup alternative includes excavation and off-site disposal of sediments and soils located outside of the Holding Basin, stabilization of Holding Basin soils, and containment of those soils with a vertical wall and horizontal cover. EPA’s preferred cleanup alternative also includes treatment and monitoring of site groundwater and ongoing monitoring to ensure the remedy protects human health and the environment by preventing risk of exposure to site contaminants. EPA estimates that the preferred cleanup alternative would cost approximately $125 million.

EPA’s proposal would also accelerate the cleanup of 1,4 dioxane and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in groundwater. Recent sampling indicates that the 1,4 dioxane plume may be migrating underneath the Assabet River. Beginning the groundwater remedy for 1,4 dioxane before the rest of the proposed remedial action could contain this plume from expanding further, thereby avoiding the increase in time and cost for this component of the remedial alternative.

A Remedial Investigation conducted at the Site was completed in April 2014. The investigation summarized the nature and extent of the Site’s contamination and was used to prepare a Feasibility Study, completed in Oct. 2014, which identified all of the options EPA considered for the cleanup. The study evaluated different combinations of cleanup alternatives to restrict access to, contain, remove, and/or treat contamination to protect human health and the environment by preventing risk of exposure from site-related contaminants in soil, sediment, and groundwater.

Background Information:

The Nuclear Metals, Inc. property is located on a 46.4-acre parcel located at 2229 Main Street in Concord, Mass. The property is bordered to the north by Main Street, commercial and residential properties, and the Assabet River; to the east by woodland and residential properties; to the west by woodland and commercial/industrial properties; and to the south by woodland and residential properties. In 1958, Nuclear Metals, Inc. began operating a manufacturing facility on previously undeveloped land where it produced depleted uranium products, primarily as penetrators for armor piercing ammunition. They also manufactured metal powders for medical applications, photocopiers, and specialty metal products, such as beryllium tubing used in the aerospace industry. Operations at the Site resulted in contamination of soils, sediments, and groundwater. EPA has taken two time-critical removal actions, one in 2002 and one in 2008, to address materials which presented more immediate risks at the Site. In 2011, a Non Time-Critical Removal Action began at the Site to address the contaminated buildings, this removal action is ongoing.

More information:

- EPA’s Proposed Plan for the Nuclear Metals Superfund Site, and on past actions to address contamination at the site: http://www.epa.gov/region1/superfund/sites/nmi

- Copies of the proposed plan will also be made available in the Nuclear Metals Site repository located at the Concord Public Library, 129 Main St. Concord, MA or can be requested by contacting Kelsey O’Neil at (617) 918-1003 or via email at oneil.kelsey [at] epa.gov

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