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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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 Tewksbury,  Massachusetts
 Middlesex County
 Street Address: OFF OF SOUTH STREET
 Zip Code: 01876

 EPA ID #: MAD980520696
 Site ID #: 0100686
 Site Aliases:

 Site Responsibility:

 Proposed Date 07/27/2000
 Final Date 06/14/2001

Site Description
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The Sutton Brook Disposal Area ("the site"), which is roughly synonymous with the Rocco's Disposal Area site, is located off South Street on the eastern boundary of Tewksbury, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. The site is in excess of 50 acres. A small portion of the site also extends into the Town of Wilmington, Massachusetts. The Sutton Brook Disposal Area is bound by a former railroad grade along the northern boundary, beyond which is a former piggery and a forested area; residential properties to the west; undeveloped woodland and wetlands to the south; and the Tewksbury/Wilmington Town Line and agricultural land to the east. The site comprises three source areas; a 50-acre landfill, an area of buried drums, and contaminated soils associated with the drum disposal area. These three source areas are located on what is known as the Rocco's Disposal Area. Waste disposal activities at the Sutton Brook Disposal Area can be traced back to at least 1957, when an area of the site was used as a "burning dump." This area was originally designated by the Tewksbury Board of Health as a temporary disposal area (landfill). In 1961, the temporary assignment was modified to require that the landfill on the site be operated as a sanitary landfill, accepting municipal refuse generated only in the Town of Tewksbury, Massachusetts. The assignment was not complied with, as the landfill accepted municipal, commercial, and industrial wastes from both inside and outside the Town of Tewksbury. The owners of the landfill received numerous citations from state and local officials for violating Massachusetts Sanitary Landfill Regulations.

In 1966, the Town of Tewksbury was ordered by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (the Commonwealth) Commissioner of Public Health to operate the landfill using the sanitary landfill method. However, after 1966, there were documented occurrences of landfill burning, uncovered waste areas, the filling in of on-site wetlands, wastes disposed below the water table, and landfill slopes which exceeded operation plans. Due to these violations, the Commonwealth ordered the closure of the landfill in 1979. At the time of its closure, the landfill was accepting in excess of 250 tons of waste per day. Despite the closure order, landfill operations continued until 1982, when official landfill operations were suspended, yet waste acceptance continued through 1988.

In 1983, a loam screening business began operation on the property. On August 11, 1983, during an inspection by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Quality Engineering (MADEQE) (currently MADEP), underground burning was observed through fissures in the ground in the southern landfill lobe. During a subsequent inspection conducted by MA DEQE personnel on August 12, 1983, flames and smoke were no longer visible after heavy machinery had covered the fissures with soil. Subsequent investigations by Tewksbury Health Inspectors and MADEQE documented piles of demolition debris and soil on areas of the property, in some cases adjacent to and/or encroaching upon on-site wetland areas.

This 50 acre landfill area has an estimated volume of approximately 1.9 million cubic yards. During the 1999 EPA Superfund Technical Assistance and Response Team (START) on-site reconnaissance, a number of erosional cuts, leachate seeps, and collapsed areas were observed in the cover material of the landfill. Sutton Brook (and associated wetlands) flows east to west through the property, dividing the landfill into northern and southern lobes. Additional wetlands areas are located south of the landfill and along the eastern and western portions of the property. Approximately 300 yards south of the landfill is an unnamed pond, used seasonally for ice skating.
During the Winter of 2000-2001, EPA installed 14 groundwater monitoring wells, and obtained samples from 22 monitoring wells in the vicinity of the Rocco Landfill in order to get a current assessment of the condition of groundwater which may be leaving the site. In addition to the analytical samples, groundwater level measurements were taken at a total of 43 wells. The water level measurements are used to help establish and map groundwater flow directions. The groundwater analytical data suggest that there is contamination discharging to groundwater from the northern and southern lobes of the Rocco Landfill. It appears that the affected groundwater flows towards Sutton Brook from the south(from the southern lobe, and towards Sutton Brook from the north(from the northern lobe). A report containing the results of this effort has been sent to the site repositories listed below. In 2002 and 2003 EPA sampled and analyzed water from private wells near the site. These wells do not appear to have been affected by the site.

In September 2007, EPA selected a comprehensive remedy for the site valued at approximately $30 million.

Threats and Contaminants
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Numerous investigations of the site by local, state, and federal organizations have revealed the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs), pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and inorganic elements in on-site and off-site ground water, surface water, sediment, soil, and VOCs and SVOCs in air samples.

Cleanup Approach
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The major components of the remedy selected in the September 2007 Record of Decision (ROD) include the following:

- Excavation of contaminated soils exceeding site-specific cleanup levels from the Former Drum Disposal Area and the former Garage and Storage Area;
- Excavation of contaminated soils and sediments exceeding site-specific cleanup levels from a portion of Sutton Brook between the two landfill lobes;
- Consolidation of excavated soils and sediments along with other debris adjacent to the landfills into the landfills;
- Construction of a low permeability cap over both landfill lobes, including systems to collect and manage gases and stormwater from the landfills;
- Construction of a vertical barrier to intercept groundwater from the southern landfill to prevent it from entering Sutton Brook;
- Collection and treatment of contaminated groundwater from an area west of the southern landfill lobe;
- Monitored natural attenuation of areas of groundwater contamination not captured by the extraction system, with a contingency to expand the area of active groundwater remediation, if necessary;
- Institutional controls such as deed restrictions and/or local ordinances to prevent unacceptable exposures to wastes left in place and to restrict exposure to contaminated groundwater until cleanup levels are met; and
- Long-term groundwater, surface water, and sediment monitoring, and periodic five-year reviews of the remedy.

Response Action Status
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Initial Action Three separate removal actions were undertaken during the 2000 by EPA. The actions involved excavation and removal of contaminated soils and deteriorated drums. Excavation and removal of contaminated materials has been completed at all 3 areas.

Entire Site In February 2004, following investigation and negotiations, EPA reached an agreement with 25 responsible parties (RPs) to conduct the necessary studies at the Sutton Brook Disposal Area site. These parties conducted the Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study(RI/FS). The RI/FS characterizes the site with regard to the nature and extent of contamination, as well as what risks may exist (RI), and then develops and evaluates cleanup alternatives to address the risks (FS). The RI and the FS were completed in the spring of 2007 and are available in the site repositories (Tewksbury Public Library and EPA's Boston office). A public comment period regarding EPA's Proposed Cleanup Plan was conducted during the summer of 2007. A Record of Decision (ROD) choosing a remedy for the site was completed in September 2007. The ROD is available on this website as well as in the site repositories. Design of the remedy was completed in 2013.
Construction of the remedy began in 2014. Construction is expected to be completed in 2016. For additional information, see "Current Site Status" below.

Enforcement Highlights In December 2009, the US Department of Justice lodged a Consent Decree with 49 potentially responsible parties for implementation of the remedy outlined in the ROD. The consent decree, lodged in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, was subject to a 30-day public comment period and approval by the federal court. The Consent Decree was entered by the Court in November 2010. The design of the remedy began in early 2011, and was completed in June 2013 and construction work was initiated in 2014.

Environmental Progress
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Three removal actions in which contaminated soils and deteriorated drums were excavated for removal, have been undertaken. All three removal actions have been completed

Current Site Status
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As described above, the Remedial Investigation and the Feasibility Study have been completed and a cleanup plan has been selected. The Record of Decision, which outlines the remedy for the site, was completed in September 2007. EPA has completed negotiations with responsible parties for those parties to design and construct the remedy under EPA oversight. The Consent Decree was entered by the Court in November 2010, and the design of the remedy was completed in 2013. Construction of the remedy began in the spring of 2014 and is expected to be completed in 2016.

While construction is underway, all excavation and consolidation of contaminated soils and sediments will be confined to the site. No contaminated soil or sediment will be moved off site. Clean fill and other construction materials will be trucked in for the purpose of capping the landfill's northern and southern lobes.

During 2014: The excavation of site contaminated soils, with consolidation into the landfill as planned, was substantially completed. The vertical barrier between the Southern Lobe of the landfill and Sutton Brook was installed. Capping of approximately half of the Southern Lobe of the landfill was completed. The installation of the groundwater extraction well was completed. The extraction and off-site discharge of contaminated groundwater began in November and has been fully operational since December 1, 2014.

The estimated remaining cleanup schedule is as follows (almost all construction activity will take place between April and November):

During 2015: Capping of Southern and Northern Lobes will be completed (it is possible that a portion of the Northern Lobe capping may need to be completed in 2016). Trucks will again be hauling clean fill and other capping materials to the Northern Lobe of the site.

During 2016: Completion of construction activities. Expected to include completion of access roads, wetlands restoration and fencing.

During construction periods, updates on construction and anticipated construction related activities will be posted to the following websites: the Town of Tewksbury, The Town Crier, and the The Tewksbury Patch

Site Photos
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SDMS 572855
Wheel Wash in Action – Trucks leaving the Site go through the wheel wash station

SDMS 572856
Excavation for vertical barrier parallel to Sutton Brook. South Lobe on left. Brook on right.

SDMS 572857
Contaminated soil excavation from former drum disposal area (FDDA).

SDMS 572858
South Lobe. Graded waste, ready for capping.

SDMS 572859
South Lobe capping.

Links to Other Site Information
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Disclaimer Instructions about PDF

Newsletters & Press Releases:
Press Releases about this project  
Sutton Brook Disposal Area Progress Update No. 1, May 13, 2014 (508 KB)  
Sutton Brook Disposal Area Progress Update No. 2, May 29, 2014 (510 KB)  
Sutton Brook Disposal Area Progress Update No. 3, June 16, 2014 (509 KB)  
Sutton Brook Disposal Area Progress Update No. 4, July 22, 2014 (510 KB)  
Sutton Brook Disposal Area Progress Update No. 5, July 23, 2014 (507 KB)  
Sutton Brook Disposal Area Progress Update No. 6, September 16, 2014 (508 KB)  
Sutton Brook Disposal Area Progress Update No. 7, March 9, 2015 (497 KB)  
Sutton Brook Disposal Area Progress Update No. 8, March 19, 2015 (500 KB)  
Sutton Brook Disposal Area Progress Update No. 9, May 15, 2015 (497 KB)  
Sutton Brook Disposal Area Progress Update No. 10, May 27, 2015 (498 KB)  

Federal Register Notices:
Proposed NPL Listing  
Final NPL Listing  

Administrative Records:
Proposed Plan, June 1, 2007 (1.97 MB)  
Index for Record of Decision (ROD), Operable Unit 1, October 1, 2007 (936.60 KB)  

Reports and Studies:
Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS), Volumes 1-2, February 1, 2007 (23.7 MB with links to additional PDF files)  
Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS), Volumes 3-4, May 1, 2007 (22.9 MB with links to additional PDF files)  
Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS), Volume 5, May 1, 2007 (22.0 MB)  

Decision Documents:
View Records of Decision (RODS) on-line (EPA HQ)  
Public Information Meeting, EPA's Proposed Cleanup Plan, June 27, 2007 (3.81 MB)   
Record of Decision, September 27, 2007 (Opening File is 10.93MB with Links to Two Additional PDF Files)  

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

Site Repositories
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Tewksbury Public Library, 300 Chandler Street, Tewksbury, MA 01876 (978)640-4490

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: Don McElroy
Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
5 Post Office Square, Suite 100
Mail Code OSRR07-4
Boston, MA 02109-3912
Phone #: 617-918-1326
E-Mail Address: mcelroy.don@epa.gov

EPA Community Involvement Coordinator: Sarah White
Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
5 Post Office Square, Suite 100
Mail Code ORA20-1
Boston, MA 02109-3912
Phone #: 617-918-1026
E-Mail Address: white.sarah@epa.gov


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