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Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England
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Map this site in Cleanups in My Community
 Groveland,  Massachusetts
 Essex County
 Street Address: 62 Washington Street
 Zip Code: 01834

 EPA ID #: MAD980732317
 Site ID #: 0100750
 Site Aliases: Groveland Wells

 Site Responsibility: Federal, Potentially Responsible Parties

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

Site Description
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The Groveland Wells Superfund site includes the watershed and aquifer supplying two municipal water wells, as well as three properties known to be polluting groundwater and soil in the area. The entire site area covers a total of approximately 850 acres. Groveland production wells #1 and #2 were the sole source of drinking water for the town. Both were shut down in 1979 when the State detected Trichloroethylene (TCE) contamination above drinking water maximum contaminant limits (MCLs). The town instituted emergency conservation measures and temporarily obtained water hookups from neighboring communities. Groveland developed well #3 along the Merrimack River in the early 1980's, however the water supply fell short of the town's needs and growth trends. The main source of contamination was determined to be from the former Valley Manufacturing Products Company (VMPC) site located on Washington Street in Groveland, where metal parts, screws and cable connectors had been made since 1963. Operators used subsurface disposal systems which dispersed liquids into buried leachfields and also had a major leak from an underground storage tank (UST) containing Trichloroethylene (TCE). VMPC also routinely dumped hazardous materials on the surface of the ground which eventually leached down to the groundwater. Hazardous substances that were released included cutting oils, mineral spirits, TCE , volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and acid bath wastes. In 2000, EPA funded and built a groundwater extraction, treatment and discharge system to clean up the TCE contaminated groundwater in the aquifer near the former Valley Manufacturing building. From April of 2009 thru February of 2011, EPA funded, constructed and operated the ERH thermal treatment system in the Source Area. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, approximately 6,459 people live within the town of Groveland.

Threats and Contaminants
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Groundwater and source area soil are contaminated with volatile organic compounds, mostly TCE. The greatest threat is posed by drinking untreated groundwater. Prior to distribution of potable water to the residents of Groveland, the Town performs quarterly sampling of the Town supply wells to ensure that the water meets all of the Safe Drinking Water Standard. Soils containing high levels of TCE are mostly located on the southern portion of Valley Manufactured property.

Cleanup Approach
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The site is being addressed in three stages: an initial action and two long-term remedial phases focusing on Groundwater Migration and Source Area Control (soil).

Response Action Status
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Initial Action EPA installed wellhead treatment for Groveland's municipal well station #1 in 1987. In 1985, Valley Manufacturing Products Company, under an Order with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), installed a groundwater interception and treatment system north of Mill Pond. Water from municipal supply well # 1 was treated via carbon adsorption to remove VOCs. This wellhead treatment system operated until 1991 because VOC had not been detected in station # 1 since 1989.

Groundwater Migration EPA began its initial study of site contamination and cleanup options in 1983. The initial study was completed in 1985. In 1990, EPA began conducting a supplemental management of migration study to evaluate the movement of groundwater contaminants, and to determine what further cleanup activities were needed. This supplemental study was used to develop a permanent remedy to address contamination throughout the Johnson Creek aquifer. In 1991, this investigation was completed and the remedy for cleanup was selected. The remedy called for extraction, treatment and discharge of contaminated groundwater. VOC contaminants in the groundwater will be destroyed via ultraviolet light/oxidation. Design of the groundwater extraction and treatment system was completed in early 1995. In March 1996, EPA conducted additional sampling of the groundwater contaminant plume. Results of this sampling revealed significant declines in the TCE contaminant levels in some of the wells sampled near the leading northern edge of the contaminant plume. This led EPA to consider reducing the amount of groundwater that needed to be extracted and treated. EPA decided to re-design the extraction system and to treat the more highly contaminated portion of the groundwater contaminant plume. The leading edge of the groundwater plume will be remediated through monitored natural attenuation. These changes in the remedy significantly reduced the amount of groundwater (by 65%) that needed to be actively treated. Also, the groundwater treatment plant was relocated to the property located adjacent to the Valley Manufactured Products Company building located on Washington Street in Groveland. EPA approved the re-design of the treatment plant (the new location) in January 1997. Construction of the groundwater remediation system began in the fall of 1999 and the system began operating in April of 2000. EPA funded, operated and maintained the groundwater treatment system from 2000-2011. During this time the system removed over 1,130 pounds of total VOCs and pumped over 4 million gallons of groundwater. As of June 1, 2011, MassDEP assumed the funding, operation and maintenance for the system. The groundwater treatment system will continue to operate until the groundwater clean-up levels have been met or protective levels are met.

Source Control A supplemental study based on initial studies narrowed the focus on contamination to one location, and remedies for the Valley area were selected. They included in-place soil vapor extraction (SVE) of VOCs from the soils at the site and capture of the VOCs through activated carbon treatment, groundwater monitoring, and sealing or disconnecting all lines to the acid bath finishing process disposal system. Contaminated groundwater from the source area is also extracted and treated in the treatment plant which began operation in April of 2000. (See Groundwater Migration section). VMPC operated the SVE source control remedy from 1992 until April 2002 when the company ceased all manufacturing operations and abandoned the property before clean up levels in soils were obtained. In addition to operating and maintaining the groundwater treatment system, EPA took over the source control remedy (contaminated soil). During 2004, EPA conducted an engineering evaluation of the SVE system. Although the data showed that the SVE system was somewhat effective, TCE levels in soils remain higher than acceptable levels. During the summer of 2006 EPA and our contractor conducted numerous field investigations in order to fill in remaining data gaps. Field work included numerous soil borings, monitoring well installation and groundwater sampling. The information gathered in 2004 and 2006 was evaluated and the results were presented in a final report entitled: "Draft Final Source Area Re-evaluation Report", dated September 2006. In September 2007, EPA in consultation with MassDEP issued an Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) to document the clean-up levels and also document that Electrical Resistive Heating (ERH) will be the treatment method used to clean-up TCE contaminated soils on the southern portion of the property. In September of 2008, EPA authorized funding in order for our oversight contractor to implement the ERH remedy. From April of 2009 thru February of 2011, EPA funded and oversaw the construction and operation of the ERH thermal treatment system for the Source Area TCE contaminated soil and groundwater. The following amounts were removed from the operation of the ERH treatment system:
  • Over 1,300 pounds of VOCs were removed
  • 18 gallons of non-aqueous phase liquids (NAPL)
  • 311 million cubic feet of vapors
  • 2 million gallons of groundwater and condensate

Enforcement HighlightsThe Town of Groveland required the potentially responsible parties to undertake a study of the nature and extent of contamination. In May 1992, a Unilateral Administrative Order was issued that required the potentially responsible parties to design the cleanup remedies for groundwater migration and to initiate cleanup activities. Although the design was completed, the potentially responsible parties did not comply with the order to perform the actual cleanup activities and the EPA then had to take over the cleanup.

Environmental Progress
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Various cleanup actions at the Groveland Wells site have reduced the potential for exposure to hazardous materials and continue to reduce contamination in groundwater. EPA oversaw the design and construction of a 150 gallon per minute groundwater extraction, treatment and discharge system. EPA also oversaw the design, construction and operations of an Electrical Resistive Heating (ERH) treatment system to clean up highly contaminated soil and groundwater located within the Source Area. See the below section "Current Site Status" for detailed information.

Current Site Status
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Completion of construction for the 150 gallons per minute groundwater extraction, treatment and discharge facility was achieved in Spring 2000. EPA funded, operated and maintained the groundwater treatment system from 2000-2011. As of June 1, 2011, MassDEP assumed funding, operation and maintenance for this treatment system. As of April 2012, the groundwater treatment system has extracted and treated over 510 million gallons of contaminated groundwater and has removed approximately 1,190 pounds of VOC contamination from groundwater.

From 2004 and 2006, EPA conducted further investigations and pilot tests to better define the extent of TCE contaminated soils in the Source area that contribute to groundwater contamination, and the best means to clean up that source. These efforts concluded that a soil vapor extraction system enhanced by using heat (Thermally Enhanced Soil Vapor Extraction) would be the best way to clean up the source area contamination at the site. The Thermally Enhanced Soil Vapor Extraction System was designed to reduce contaminant concentrations in the source area soils and overburdened groundwater and will also shorten the length of time that the groundwater treatment system will operate in order to reach the groundwater cleanup goals.

Construction of the Thermally Enhanced Soil Vapor Extraction System began in April 2009 and was finished in August 2010. The ERH system was operated from August 2010 to February 2011, under EPA and MassDEP oversight. The following amounts were removed from the operation of the ERH treatment system:

  • Over 1,300 pounds of VOCs were removed
  • 18 gallons of non-aqueous phase liquids (NAPL)
  • 311 million cubic feet of hazardous vapors
  • 2 million gallons of groundwater and condensate

EPA completed the first, second and third Five Year Reviews of the cleanup actions in 2005, 2010 & 2015. The results of these Reviews determined that the clean up actions at the site are still protective of human health and the environment. The most recent Five Year Review was completed on June 29, 2015.

Under EPA oversight, MassDEP has implemented increased groundwater sampling, i.e., increased frequency and locations. EPA, in consultation with MassDEP, used this information to shut down the active groundwater treatment because concentrations of TCE in groundwater are relatively low and there is no exposure.

Site Photos
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SDMS #452909
SDMS 480798
SDMS 480799

Links to Other Site Information
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Disclaimer Instructions about PDF

Newsletters & Press Releases:
Press Releases about this project  
Fact Sheet, July 2000 (1.87 MB)  
Fact Sheet, April 2006 (317 KB)  
Fact Sheet, January 2010 (533 KB)  
Fact Sheet, June 2012 (1.82 MB)  

Federal Register Notices:
Final NPL Listing  

Administrative Records:
Administrative Record Index, OU 01 Record of Decision (ROD), September 30, 1991 (970 KB)  
Administrative Record Index, OU 02 Record of Decision (ROD), September 30, 1988 (1,110 KB)  
Administrative Record Index, OU 02 Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD), October 1, 2007 (233.25 KB)  

Reports and Studies:
Five Year Review, June 2005 (4.9 MB)   
Draft Final Source Area Re-Evaluation Report, September 1, 2006 (11.34 MB)  
Second Five Year Review, June 2010 (8.15 MB)  
Final Remedial Action Report for OU 02, September 1, 2011 (Opening file is 2.75 MB with a link to an additional PDF file)   
May 2011 Monthly Operations Report, Groundwater Extraction and Treatment System, June 23, 2011 (1.36 MB)  
2011 Data Evaluation Report, June 2012 (3.59 MB)  
Optimization Review Report, January 7, 2013 (3.20 MB)  

Decision Documents:
View Records of Decision (RODS) on-line (EPA HQ)  
Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD), September 26, 2007 (2.13 MB)  
Institutional Controls at this Site  

Settlement Documents:
Consent Decree, OU 1, January 16, 2008 (1.72 MB)  

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

Site Repositories
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Langley-Adams Library, Main Street, Groveland, MA 01834

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: Rodney Elliott
Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
New England Regional Laboratory
11 Technology Drive
Chelmsford, MA 01863-243
Phone #: 617-918-8372
E-Mail Address: elliot.rodney@epa.gov

State Agency Contact: Janet Waldron
Mass DEP
Address: One Winter Street
Boston, MA 02108
Phone #: 617-556-1156
E-Mail Address: janet.waldron@state.ma.us


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