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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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WOBURN,  Massachusetts
Street Address: 36 SIXTH ROAD
Zip Code: 01801

EPA ID #: MAN000103103
Site ID #: 0103103
Site Alias:

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The A-1 Precious Metal Plating, Inc., (A-1) Superfund Site (Site) is located in an industrial park on approximately one acre of land at 36 Sixth Road in Woburn, Massachusetts. It is bounded to the north and west by Sixth Avenue, and to the south and east by operating offices and industrial facilities. There are also residential areas, including two daycare centers, within mile. The site consists of a 12,000 square foot two-story cinder block and brick building.

The A-1 facility occupies the northeast end of the building. Ramsey Welding and Fabrication, Inc., occupies the southwest end of the building. The A-1 section of the building is mainly an open one-floor area, with a two-story high roof. There is also a second floor office in the northeast corner, with an office/laboratory area in the sub-basement. Access to the building is currently restricted by locked doors, and the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Department (Sheriff’s Department) holds the keys to the building.

The site was a metal plating job-shop that began operating in 1972, employing three people. A-1 performed nickel, zinc, silver, aluminum and chrome electroplating, primarily for the co-axial and connector industries. Wastes generated at the facility included metal hydroxide and plating tank sludge, as well as cyanide, silver and chrome-bearing waste waters. Sixth Avenue Realty Trust (Trust) owns the property, and leased it to A-1.

In May 1996, The Massachusetts Water Resource Authority (MWRA) filed an enforcement action against A-1 for numerous wastewater discharge violations. Ultimately, MWRA issued a cease and desist order to the company. Subsequently, A-1 was only allowed to discharge wastewater under MWRA oversight. In 1998, MWRA referred A-1 to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) because of potential Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) violations. EPA inspected the A-1 facility in November 1998 and March 1999. At those times, EPA personnel observed wastes stored onsite in quantities well in excess of the amounts allowed by applicable RCRA regulations.

In 1999, EPA took enforcement action against A-1 for multiple RCRA violations including storage of incompatible and unlabeled wastes. A-1 was unable to pay a penalty, but came into physical compliance after several months. At that time, EPA’s RCRA program had concerns about the viability of the company and possible abandonment of hazardous waste.

On August 17, 2000, an MWRA representative visited the site and observed that the facility’s doors had been padlocked. A notice had been posted stating that the property had been seized by the Sheriff’s Department. A-1 had allegedly defaulted on its rent so the landlord obtained a court order to have A-1 evicted on or about July 27, 2000. The facility was then placed under the control of the Sheriff’s Department. MWRA subsequently notified EPA’s RCRA program about A-1's eviction, and its concern that hazardous materials from the plating operations had been left in place.

On August 22, 2000, EPA’s RCRA program referred the site to EPA’s Removal Program for evaluation, because of concern about the abandonment of hazardous waste, and resulting releases of hazardous materials.

Current Status
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A short term cleanup (PRP REMOVAL) at the site was started on 9/24/01.

On August 30, 2000, EPA conducted a Preliminary Assessment/Site Investigation. Results included: evidence of strong acids; strong bases and cyanide in tanks and drums; hydrogen cyanide in the air; and approximately 100 drums and 600 small containers. Containers labeled as hazardous substances included: hydrofluoric acid, nitric acid, hydrochloric acid, fluoboric acid, hydrogen cyanide, silver cyanide, zinc cyanide, potassium cyanide, copper cyanide, sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide and hydrogen peroxide. On September 19, 2000, EPA sent Notice of Potential Liability letters to the potentially responsible parties. On May 15, 2001, EPA issued a Unilateral Administrative Order to the Trust to perform a removal action. On September 24, 2001, Lessard Environmental (Lessard) commenced cleanup activities at the facility under the direction of the Trust. Lessard consolidated all laboratory and small chemical bottles, and overpacked and staged all drums for future offsite shipment. On October 5, 2001, Lessard demobilized off site awaiting future disposal plans based on disposal facility approval of the profiled and staged hazardous waste materials.

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Links to Other Information
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Disclaimer Instructions about PDF

Public Record Locations
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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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Dave McIntyre
On-Scene Coordinator
Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
5 Post Office Square, Suite 100
Boston, MA 02109-3912
Phone #:617-918-1281
E-Mail Address:mcintyre.dave@epa.gov


Serving Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, & 10 Tribal Nations
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Last updated on Monday, October 26th, 2009
Fact Sheet accessed from: http://www.epa.gov/region1/superfund/sites