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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: Long Term/National Priorities List (NPL) Click to see more about Site Type and how it is used?


Map this site in Cleanups in My Community
 Plymouth,  Massachusetts
 Plymouth County
 Street Address: Cordage Park
 Zip Code: 02360

 EPA ID #: MAD980525232
 Site ID #: 0100726
 Site Aliases: Plymouth Harbor, Cannon Engineering

 Site Responsibility: Federal, State, Potentially Responsible Parties

 Proposed Date 12/30/1982
 Final Date 09/08/1983
  Deleted Date 11/19/1993

Site Description
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The Plymouth Harbor/Cannon Engineering Corporation site covers approximately 2.5 acres in Cordage Park, a business area and industrial area which is adjacent to Plymouth Harbor, Plymouth, Massachusetts. The on site facilities consisted of three above ground storage tanks and the foundation of a razed building. The former storage tanks were surrounded by 6 to 8 foot high earthen berms. The northernmost tank was located about 50 feet from Plymouth Harbor, while the central and southern tanks were located about 180 feet from the Harbor. The storage tanks were originally constructed in the 1920's and were used for storing fuel and oil that were unloaded from barges. In 1975, the company obtained a license to store motor oils, industrial oils and emulsions, solvents, lacquers, organic and inorganic chemicals, cyanide and plating wastes, plating sludge, oily solids, pesticides, and clay and filter media with chemicals. Cannon Engineering Corp. transported and stored hazardous wastes at the Plymouth facility and incinerated the wastes at its Bridgewater Massachusetts facility until 1980, when the facilities went into receivership. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the Town of Plymouth has a population of approximately 56,468 people. The Plymouth area has a large number of beaches, summer cottages, public recreation, and tourist areas. Plymouth Harbor is used for swimming, boating and water sports. The historic area of Plymouth Rock is located less than one mile southeast of the site.

Threats and Contaminants
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The on-site soil and off-site sediments were contaminated with low levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and lead. Off-site sediments from the tidal stream contained a number of pesticides, however in 1992 EPA concluded that pesticides in sediments were not site related. The site is fenced to limit access and prevent trespassing. There is no longer a health threat from contaminated on-site soils provided deed restrictions are complied with.

Cleanup Approach
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Response Action Status
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Immediate Actions In 1983, Salt Water Trust removed the contents of and then cleaned and decontaminated the south tank. EPA removed the contents of the central tank. In 1984 a total of 44,022 gallons of oil-phase waste and 139,877 gallons of aqueous-phase waste were transported to appropriate disposal facilities for incineration. An estimated 52,750 gallons of sludge and 8,000 gallons of toluene were removed from the tanks and shipped off-site for proper disposal at an approved facility.

Source Control The remedies selected by the EPA in 1985 included removing the tanks and the associated piping and disposing of them at an approved facility; conducting additional soil sampling at the site to determine the distribution of contaminants; sampling of groundwater, surface water, and sediment near the site; and assessing flood plains to determine possible effects on cleanup actions. In 1986 and 1987, the EPA cleaned the interiors of the three empty storage tanks and dismantled them. The pipework, foundations, and 33 drums of wastes already on the site were transported to a licensed disposal facility. Soil was excavated from two locations on the site, placed in drums, disposed of, and replaced with clean fill. Once the tanks and other materials were removed, the EPA sampled soil, groundwater, surface water, and sediments for the presence and distribution of remaining contamination at the site. A Flood Plains Assessment Report was prepared and evaluated for the site. The site was fenced at that time and all cleanup activities were completed in late 1987. The clean up actions at the site were based on clean-up levels that are protective of commercial/industrial
redevelopment only. Therefore deed restrictions/institutional controls were put in place to prevent the site from being redeveloped for residential uses.

A new human health risk assessment would need to be completed by the Responsible Party (RP), reviewed by EPA and MassDEP and demonstrate that there would not be any unacceptable human health risks, should the RP wish to redeveloped the site for residential uses.

Sampling Program Investigations Sampling Program Investigations: The EPA studied the results of the sampling program to evaluate any possible human health and environmental risks. Based on this evaluation, the EPA is satisfied that the site poses no threat to human health and the environment if the property is reused for commercial/industrial

The Final Site Close Out Report, filed in May 1992, confirms the EPA's findings.

Enforcement HighlightsA history of complaints of odors and reports of leaks from the storage tanks on the site prompted the State and the EPA to investigate the site. In 1983, a Consent Agreement was reached with Salt Water Trust, the owners of the site. In accordance with the agreement, the site owners cleaned the south tank, and the EPA cleaned the central tank.

Environmental Progress
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  • The clean up actions described above have eliminated the exposure to hazardous substances and removed the sources of contamination at the Plymouth Harbor/Cannon Engineering site. All cleanup activities have been completed and the first Five-Year Review and Final Site Close Out Report were completed in 1992. The site was deleted from the National Priorities List on November 19, 1993. The second Five-Year Review was completed in 1998, and the third Five-Year Review was completed in 2003, the fourth Five Year Review was completed in 2008 and the fifth Five Year Review was completed in September 2013. Five Year Reviews evaluate the past clean up actions to determine if the clean up actions taken at a site are still protective of human health and the environment. Five Year Reviews must be conducted since hazardous contamination remains at the site above levels that allow for unlimited use and unrestricted exposure. All five of the Reviews determined that the site is still protective of human health and the environment. The next Five Year Review will be completed before the end of September 2018.

    Current Site Status
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    All cleanup activities have been completed and the First Five Year Review and Final Site Close Out Report were completed in 1992. The second, third and fourth Five-Year Reviews were completed in 1998, 2003 and 2008, respectively. The site was deleted from the National Priorities List on November 19, 1993. A component of the clean up actions required that a deed restriction be placed on the property. The deed restriction limits the use/reuse of the property to commercial/industrial uses only. Before the property is redeveloped for commercial/industrial use, the property owner needs to provide EPA and MassDEP with a reuse plan for review and approval. If the property is redeveloped for a use other than commercial/industrial purposes, the property owner will need to provide EPA and MassDEP with a reuse plan and a new human health risk assessment. These would need to be reviewed, and determined to be protective by both EPA and MassDEP.

    Site Photos
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    SDMS 452953

    SDMS 452936

    SDMS 454300

    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:
    NPL Site Deletion Docket Index, October 19, 1993 (639 KB)  

    Reports and Studies:
    Second Five Year Review Report, July 29, 1998 (841KB)  
    Third Five Year Review Report, September 26, 2003 (2,698KB)  
    Fourth Five Year Review Report, September 30, 2008 (4.92 MB)   
    Fifth Five Year Review Report, July 3, 2013 (7.10 MB)  

    Decision Documents:
    View Records of Decision (RODS) on-line (EPA HQ)  
    Institutional Controls at this Site  

    Other Links:
    NPL Site Narrative at Listing:  
    Site Progress Profile  

    Site Repositories
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    Plymouth Public Library, 132 South Street, Plymouth, MA 02360

    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: Derrick Golden
    Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
    5 Post Office Square, Suite 100
    Mail Code OSRR07-1
    Boston, MA 02109-1367
    Phone #: 617-918-1448
    E-Mail Address: golden.derrick@epa.gov

    EPA Community Involvement Coordinator: Doug Gutro
    Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
    5 Post Office Square, Suite 100
    Mail Code ORA01-1
    Boston, MA 02109-1367
    Phone #: 617-918-1021
    E-Mail Address: gutro.doug@epa.gov

    State Agency Contact: Mr. Jay Naparstek
    Address: Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (Mass DEP)
    One Winter Street
    Boston, MA 02108
    Phone #: 617-292-5697
    E-Mail Address: jay.naparstek@state.ma.us


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    Last updated on Wednesday, November 4th, 2015
    URL: http://www.epa.gov/region1/superfund/sites/plymouth