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Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England
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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
 Peterborough,  New Hampshire
 Hillsborough County
 Street Address: U.S. Route 202
 Zip Code: 03458

 EPA ID #: NHD980671069
 Site ID #: 0101146
 Site Aliases:

 Site Responsibility: Potentially Responsible Parties

 Proposed Date 09/08/1983
 Final Date 09/21/1984

Site Description
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The South Municipal Water Supply Well Site (the Site) covers 250 acres in a rural portion of the Contoocook River Valley. The well was installed in 1952 and provided water to the Town of Peterborough for nearly 30 years. The well served approximately 4,600 people. In 1982, the State conducted a routine sampling of their water supply and found contaminants in the South Well, at which time it was shut down. The source of the contamination was thought to be the New Hampshire Ball Bearings (NHBB) facility, located 1,200 feet west of the well, which has manufactured precision ball bearings since 1946.

In 1955, the company purchased the 24 acres it now occupies off of Route 202 in Peterborough. Major source areas on the property include discharges from three drainage outfalls, an inactive leachfield, and drainage from a tank truck used to haul waste from the facility. A brook located 200 feet from the facility drains into a wetland area and Noone Pond before emptying into the Contoocook River. Discharges to the leachfield and sump ceased in 1972 with connection to the town sewer line. Periodic on-site dumping of a 275-gallon tank truck containing waste solvents ceased in the late 1970s. Floor drains in the plant were sealed in 1983. The population of the Town of Peterborough is over 6,000. Less than 100 single-family residences are located within a 1-mile radius of the Site, and the nearest private residence is located approximately 1,000 feet from the NHBB facility.

Threats and Contaminants
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The soils near the NHBB facility and surface water in the adjacent wetlands were contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including chloroform, benzene, and toluene. Wetland sediments also were contaminated with VOCs and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Groundwater is contaminated with VOCs. People who accidentally ingest or come into direct contact with contaminated groundwater may be at risk. However, the Town of Peterborough (the Town) has passed a zoning ordinance which prohibits the pumping or use of groundwater within a Groundwater Protection Overlay Zone that includes the Site, and NHBB has placed a deed restriction on its property that restricts the extraction of groundwater from the premises.

Cleanup Approach
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From 1994 to 1997, groundwater pump and treat and soil vacuum extraction (SVE) systems were fully operational at the Site in an attempt to achieve the remedial action objectives identified in the 1989 Record of Decision (ROD). In 1997, EPA re-evaluated data available at the time the ROD was issued along with more recent data. EPA determined it was technically impracticable (from an engineering perspective) to restore a portion of the contaminated groundwater at the Site (i.e, on the NHBB property) within a reasonable time frame, and the Site remedy was revised to hydraulically contain instead of extract and treat contaminated groundwater from the NHBB property.

Response Action Status
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Initial Action In 1983-1984, the Site is proposed and added to the final National Priorities List.

1989 - Record of Decision Issued NHBB completes an investigation into the nature and extent of site contamination and the EPA issues a ROD that specifies the following remedial actions: construction of groundwater pump and treatment and SVE systems to restore contaminated groundwater and remediate contaminated soils; and excavation with off-site disposal of contaminated sediments and wetland restoration.

1994 - Remedial Action Operational Groundwater pump and treat and soil vacuum extraction systems begin operation. Contaminated sediments are excavated and Site wetlands restored.

1997- Explanation of Significant Differences Issued Remedial actions for the Site are modified to hydraulically contain (instead of extract and treat) contaminated groundwater. SVE of contaminated soils is discontinued.

1999 - South Well Short-term Pumping Test Completed The Town completed a 63 day pumping test of the South Municipal Well to begin the process of returning the well to useful service. Groundwater monitoring indicated the aquifer met cleanup standards in the vicinity of the well.

2005 - South Well Long-term Pumping Test Terminated Long-term pumping test of the South Municipal Well ends after 16 months when VOCs are detected above cleanup standards in nearby monitoring wells.

2008 - EPA Five-Year Review Report Issued EPA determines the Site remedy is not protective nor is it functioning as intended; recommends new remedial alternatives be identified, evaluated, and implemented.

2009 - Focused FS Issued A Focused Feasibility Study that identifies and evaluates new remedial alternatives for the Site is completed.

2010-Record of Decision Amendment Issued The EPA amends the 1989 ROD because a fundamental change to the source control and migration management components of the original selected remedy was necessary to meet the remedial action objectives (RAOs) for the Site.

December 2013 - 100% PRB Design approved EPA approved the 100% Permeable Reactive Barrier (PRB) design that was selected in the 2010 ROD Amendment to manage migration of contaminants in the groundwater from the NHBB facility. The PRB would replace the current extraction wells located along the former railroad bed along Route 202 and the NHBB property boundary.

October 2014 - Construction of PRB wall and performance monitoring wells completed The PRB wall construction and installation of groundwater monitoring wells to monitor the PRB wall performance are completed.

December 2015 - PRB Final Inspection EPA and NHDES perform final site inspection of PRB wall and monitoring wells.

June 2015 EPA approves PRB Remedial Action (RA) Construction Completion Report.

Enforcement Highlights1986: EPA and NHBB sign a Consent Order in which NHBB agrees to conduct a study of the contamination at the site.
1990: EPA issues a Unilateral Administrative Order (UAO) to NHBB to design, construct, operate, and maintain the remedial actions specified in the ROD. The UAO and attached scope of work were modified following issuance of the ROD Amendment in 2010.

Environmental Progress
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Consistent with the 1989 Record of Decision, considerable remedial action field work has been undertaken at the Site. In addition, institutional controls (ICs), including a Groundwater Protection Overlay Zone for the Site established by the Town and deed restrictions on the NHBB property, are in place.

Current Site Status
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Based on new information collected over the last several years, the EPA issued a proposed remedy change for public comment in May 2010 (see Proposed Plan link to this document under the Reports and Studies heading below). EPA issued a Record of Decision Amendment in September 2010 that documents the basis for fundamental changes to the remedy selected in the 1989 ROD. Links to these documents may be found under Decision Documents below. Construction of the Permeable Reactive Barrier (PRB) wall, selected in the 2010 ROD Amendment, was completed in 2014. A construction complete report for the PRB wall was approved by EPA on June 30, 2015. Design of the in-situ thermal remediation (electrical resistance heating) for identified source areas within the NHBB property is underway and scheduled for completion in the Summer of 2015. Construction activities for the in-situ thermal component of the 2010 ROD Amendment are scheduled to start in late 2015 with operation planned to be initiated in 2016.

Site Photos
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SDMS 452955
Ground water treatment facility

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:
Administrative Record (AR) Index, Record of Decision (ROD), OU1, September 27, 1989 (654 KB)  
Administrative Record Index, Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD), OU1, May 6, 1993 (457 KB)  
Administrative Record Index, Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD), OU1, February 3, 1997 (414 KB)  
Administrative Record Index, Record of Decision (ROD) Amendment, October 08, 2010 (96.2 KB)  

Reports and Studies:
Five Year Review Report, June 2, 1998 (248KB)  
Second Five Year Review Report, June 2, 2003 (839KB)  
Third Five Year Review Report, August 19, 2008 (2.97 MB)  
Focused Feasibility Study (FS) for Source Mass Reduction and Plume Management, September 16, 2009 (27.6 MB)   
Proposed Plan, Proposed Remedy Change, May 18, 2010 (104 KB)  
Fourth Five Year Review Report, September 30, 2013 (3.6 MB)  
Permeable Reactive Barrier (PRB) Remedial Action Construction Completion Report with EPA Approval Letter, June 30, 2015 (138 MB)  
Draft Source Area and Permeable Reactive Barrier Pre-Design Investigative Report, July 1, 2013, (283 MB)  

Decision Documents:
View Records of Decision (RODS) on-line (EPA HQ)  
Record of Decision (ROD) Amendment, September 30, 2010 (2.58 MB)  
Institutional Controls at this Site  

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

Site Repositories
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Peterborough Town Library, 2 Concord Street, (603) 924-8040

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: Jim Brown
Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
5 Post Office Square, Suite 100
Mail Code OSRR 07-1
Boston, MA 02109-3912
Phone #: 617-918-1308
E-Mail Address: brown.jim@epa.gov

EPA Community Involvement Coordinator: Rodney Elliott
Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
New England Regional Laboratory
11 Technology Drive
Chelmsford, MA 01863-2431
Phone #: 617-918-8372
E-Mail Address: elliott.rodney@epa.gov

State Agency Contact: Kenneth Richards
Address: New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services
PO Box 95
Concord, NH 03302-0095
Phone #: 603-271-7372
E-Mail Address: kenneth.richards@des.nh.gov


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