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Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England
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 Tyngsborough,  Massachusetts
 Middlesex County
 Zip Code: 01879

 EPA ID #: MAD003809266
 Site ID #: 0100464
 Site Aliases: George C Landfill

 Site Responsibility: Federal

 Proposed Date 10/23/1981
 Final Date 09/08/1983

Site Description
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From the late 1950s until 1967, the Charles-George Reclamation Trust Landfill, located 1 mile southwest of Tyngsborough and 4 miles south of Nashua, New Hampshire, was a small municipal dump. A new owner expanded it to its present size of approximately 55 acres and accepted both household and industrial wastes from 1967 to 1976. The facility had a license to accept hazardous waste from 1973 to 1976 and primarily accepted drummed and bulk chemicals containing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and toxic metal sludges. Records show that over 1,000 pounds of mercury were disposed of and approximately 2,500 cubic yards of chemical wastes were landfilled. The State ordered closure of the site in 1983. That same year, the EPA listed the site on the NPL and the owner filed for bankruptcy. Samples from wells serving nearby Cannongate Condominiums and some nearby private homes revealed VOCs and heavy metals in the groundwater. Approximately 500 people live within a mile of the site in this residential/rural area; 2,100 people live within 3 miles of the site. The nearest residents are located 100 feet away. The site is bordered by Rte. 495, Flint Pond Marsh, and Flint Pond to the east, Dunstable Brook to the west, wooded and residential areas to the south, a condominium complex to the southeast.

Threats and Contaminants
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Benzene, tetrahydrofuran, arsenic, 1,4-dioxane, and 2-butanone, among others, have been detected in the groundwater. Sediments have been shown to contain low levels of polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). People could face a potential health threat by ingesting contaminated groundwater, however, no groundwater is used for drinking in the area. Monitoring of the sediment and surface water Flint Pond Marsh, Flint Pond, Dunstable Brook, and nearby wetlands will continue to verify that any adverse effects, if any, are limited and diminishing.

Cleanup Approach
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The site was addressed in five stages: initial actions and four long-term remedial phases focusing on providing a permanent water supply; capping the site; controlling the migration of contaminants, including collection and treatment of landfill gas; and collecting and off-site discharge of leachate and contaminated groundwater to a publicly owned treatment works (POTW).

Institutional Controls / Activity and Use Limitations Boundaries Map
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EPA New England has mapped the boundaries of Superfund sites where Institutional Controls (IC’s) are required.
Through the use of the interactive mapping tool and the request for assistance form, you can determine if the area of your proposed project is within an IC boundary and subject to any activity or use limitations or ICs.

Click map below to view boundaries in an interactive map and for more information regarding institutional controls.


Response Action Status
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Initial Action In response to the discovery of contaminated well water in the adjacent condominium complex in 1983, the EPA installed an insulated, above-ground pipeline to supply residents with an alternate water supply. In 1983 and 1984, the EPA installed a security fence and 12 gas vents, and the site was regraded to cover exposed refuse.

Permanent Water Supply In 1983, the EPA selected a final cleanup remedy that would provide a permanent water supply to affected residents. With EPA funds, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers installed 4 miles of ductile iron water pipe, constructed a pump station and water storage tank, and arranged for chlorination services. The waterline extension was completed in 1988.

Capping In 1985, the EPA completed a study on capping the landfill and selected the following remedies: installation of a full synthetic membrane cover and a surface water diversion and collection system, which keeps rainwater from spreading contamination; construction of a gas collection system venting to the atmosphere; and creation of a leachate collection system around the entire site. Periodic mowing, landscaping, and inspection/maintenance services are also being provided by the state. The Corps of Engineers completed construction of the full synthetic landfill cap in 1990.

Migration of Contaminants In 1988, the EPA selected a final cleanup remedy to restrict the movement of contaminants off site. Features of the remedy include: pumping contaminated overburden and shallow bedrock groundwater and treating it biologically, along with the leachate collected from the landfill cap system; collecting and incinerating gas vented from the landfill; and monitoring groundwater quality. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed the design of the remedy in 1990. Construction of an interim gas treatment flare and one of two groundwater extraction remedies was completed in 1994. An enclosed flare was installed in the fall of 1997, replacing the interim flare. Off gases may now be sampled to confirm attainment of target cleanup levels. In 1995, a five well extraction system was installed in the southwestern portion of the site and was tied into a pump station. In addition, a four well groundwater extraction system was installed in the eastern portion of the site. This system was tied into a pump station. These two pump stations also collect leachate and pump the combined flow to the Lowell Regional Wastewater Utility (POTW) under an Industrial Discharge Permit that was issued to the site. A municipal sewer line that was extended to the site in the fall of 1997 is used to convey this effluent from the site to the POTW In December 1995 and August 1996, low levels of landfill contaminants were discovered in off-site wells, one of which was a drinking water well. EPA extended the original waterline to the Academy of Notre Dame in October 1996 and extended the waterline to service the Flint Pond area residents in the fall of 1997. On-site construction of an Operational and Maintenance (O&M) building and upgraded pump stations was completed in September 1998 and completes the final phase of cleanup. Ongoing O&M activities include cap, gas collection and flare system, and ground water extraction systems maintenance. An on- and off-site ground water monitoring program has been in place since 1992 and will continue until ground water cleanup goals have been met. Sampling of sediments and surface water from Dunstable Brook, Flint Pond, and Flint Pond Marsh will continue in order to continue to evaluate the potential for ecological risk.

Enforcement HighlightsIn May 1983, the EPA issued a Notice Letter to the Charles George Reclamation Trust, requesting its cooperation in the cleanup. An Administrative Order was signed with the potentially responsible parties to perform treatability studies and groundwater/leachate monitoring with assistance from EPA. Fifty-four potentially responsible parties entered into two Consent Decrees in 1992 In March 2003, the owner/operators, Dorothy and Charles George settled all claims against them for approximately $3.8 million.

Environmental Progress
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Providing a water supply system, installing a fence, capping the landfill area, controlling the spread of leachate, burning off landfill gas, extracting contaminated groundwater and conveying the collected leachate and groundwater to the POTW have provided for a minimization of the potential for exposure to hazardous materials at the Charles-George Reclamation Trust Landfill site.

Current Site Status
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Construction complete status was attained in September 1998. The cap and gas collection/destruction system are in the operation and maintenance phase (MassDEP responsibility). The groundwater/leachate collection system (with off-site discharge to POTW)) is also in the operation and maintenance phase being led by MassDEP. Five Year Reviews were completed in 1995, 2000, 2005, and 2010. The results of these Five Year Reviews determined that the remedies implemented at the site continue to be protective of human health and the environment. Copies of these reports are available via the "Links to Other Site Information" below.

Site Photos
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Links to Other Site Information
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Disclaimer Instructions about PDF

Federal Register Notices:
Final NPL Listing  

Administrative Records:
Index only: OU 01 Record of Decision (ROD), December 29, 1983 (640 KB)  
Index only: OU 02 Record of Decision (ROD), July 11, 1985 (723 KB)  
Index only: OU 03 and OU 4 Record of Decision (ROD), September 29, 1988 (534 KB  

Reports and Studies:
Five Year Review Report, August 31, 1995 (2192KB)  
Second Five Year Report, March 22, 2000 (2424KB)  
Third Five Year Review Report, June 28, 2005 (6.3 MB)  
Fourth Five Year Review Report, June 24, 2010 (4.87 MB)  
Fifth Five-Year Review Report, June 24, 2015 (4.47 MB)  

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

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

Site Repositories
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Tyngsboro Public Library, Bryants Lane, Tyngsborough, MA 01879

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: Richard Fisher
Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
5 Post Office Square, Suite 100
Mail Code OSRR07-4
Boston, MA 02109-3912
Phone #: 617-918-1721
E-Mail Address: fisher.richard@epa.gov

EPA Community Involvement Coordinator: Rudy Brown
Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
5 Post Office Square, Suite 100
Mail Code ORA01-1
Boston, MA 02109-3912
Phone #: 617-918-1031
E-Mail Address: brown.rudy@epa.gov


Serving Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, & 10 Tribal Nations
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Last updated on Monday, November 30th, 2015
URL: http://www.epa.gov/region1/superfund/sites/charlesgeorge