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Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England
  Serving Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont & 9 Tribal Nations
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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
 Fairhaven,  Massachusetts
 Bristol County
 Street Address: 83 PLEASANT ST
 Zip Code: 02719

 EPA ID #: MAD001026319
 Site ID #: 0100376
 Site Aliases:

 Site Responsibility: Federal, Potentially Responsible Parties

 Proposed Date 06/24/1988
 Final Date 02/21/1990

Site Description
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The Atlas Tack Corporation Superfund Site (site) is located at 83 Pleasant Street in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, approximately 0.5 miles from Fairhaven Center. The site includes the entire Atlas Tack Corp. (Atlas Tack) property (currently owned by Atlas Tack), property adjacent to the Atlas Tack facility owned by Hathaway-Braley Wharf Company, Inc. and portions of Boys Creek and the adjacent saltwater tidal marsh extending to Buzzards Bay.

The area surrounding the Atlas Tack facility is primarily residential to the north and west. There is a bike path just north of the site and an elementary school about 200 feet to the northwest. Wetland and tidal marsh areas extend to the south and east. The Fairhaven hurricane barrier, constructed in the mid-1960s, cuts through the tidal marsh. To the north of the hurricane barrier, the Atlas Tack property comprises approximately 13.6 acres of commercial area (including a number of now defunct buildings) and 7.2 acres of wetland. The Hathaway-Braley property, a 3.2 acre unimproved parcel on Church Street, abuts the south side of the Atlas property and is also a disposal area. Approximately 20 acres of tidal marsh south of the hurricane barrier have also been contaminated by migration of hazardous substances from the source areas located on the Atlas Tack and Hathaway-Braley properties.

The Atlas Tack facility was built in 1901 and manufactured cut and wire tacks, steel nails, and similar items until 1985. From the 1940s until the late 1970s or 1980s, wastes containing cyanide and heavy metals were discharged into an unlined acid neutralizing lagoon located approximately 200 feet east of the manufacturing building and adjacent to a saltwater tidal marsh in Buzzards Bay Estuary. Process wastes containing acids, metals such as copper and nickel and solvents were discharged into drains in the floor of the main building. Some of these chemicals have permeated the floors and timbers of the building and have migrated to adjacent soils and groundwater. Other contaminated areas at the site include a filled wetland, a former dump, and other chemical spills. The area is zoned as residential and commercial. Approximately 7,200 people live within a one mile radius, and approximately 15,150 people live within three miles of the site.

Threats and Contaminants
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The groundwater is contaminated with cyanide and toluene that leached from the site lagoon. The on-site soils and debris are contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including toluene and ethyl benzene; heavy metals, including chromium, cadmium, lead, zinc and nickel; pesticides; polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Trespassers could be at risk through direct contact with contaminated soil or ingestion of shellfish in the area. The marsh and creek south of the lagoon and estuarine areas in Buzzards Bay are also contaminated causing an ecologic risk to the wildlife.

Cleanup Approach
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The site is being addressed in two phases: initial actions and a long-term remedial phase focusing on cleanup of the entire site.

Response Action Status
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Initial Action In late 1992, the potentially responsible party installed a fence around the facility to control access. In 1999, EPA removed asbestos from three buildings on the site. The removal was completed in March 2000.

Entire Site In 1998, EPA completed investigations into the nature and extent of site contamination. EPA released a Proposed Plan in December 1998, identifying the preferred cleanup alternative. In March 2000, a Record of Decision (ROD) was signed. The ROD identifies the selected remedy which calls for the excavation of contaminated soil, debris and sediments with possible on-site treatment of some materials using solidification/stabilization technologies. All excavated and treated material was to be disposed of at appropriate off-site facilities. Monitored natural attenuation will be implemented and institutional controls will be put in place.

Environmental Progress
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In 1999, EPA held public meetings on the Proposed Plan for the cleanup of the site and received written and oral comments. EPA issued an order to Atlas Tack to remove asbestos from the dilapidated buildings on site. They subsequently opted not to comply, and as a result, EPA conducted the work during the latter part of 1999 and in 2000. A Record of Decision (ROD) for the final remedy was signed in the Spring of 2000. The Remedial Action (cleanup activities) will be performed in three phases: Phase I - demolition of the manufacturing and power plant buildings and excavation and off-site disposal of contaminated soil and sludge beneath the buildings in the commercial area; Phase II - excavation of contaminated soils and debris in the debris and fill areas; and, Phase III - excavation of marsh soils and creek bed sediments. Cleanup of the site is estimated to cost $18 million. In 2002, the Remedial Design for Phases I and II was completed, Phase III design was completed in 2004.

In late May 2004, EPA received $1.8 million to begin the first phase of construction which includes the demolition of certain building structures and excavation and off-site disposal of subsurface contaminated soil and sludge.

On June 6, 2005, EPA began the first phase of construction in the Commercial Area of the Site. The buildings, the existing slab beneath the former one-story manufacturing building and smoke stack were demolished (front two-story building remains) and contaminated soil and sludge have been excavated from beneath and near the main building footprint. Construction of this phase was completed in March 2006.

In September 2005, EPA received funding to begin Phase II. Further delineation of the debris and fill areas was assessed in the Spring of 2006 and excavation began in June 2006. Construction of this phase was completed in February 2007, with the removal of approximately 35,000 cubic yards (cy) of contaminated material. Funding for the remaining Phase III work, wetland mitigation and site restoration, was secured and work began in February 2007. Approximately 22,000 cy of contaminated marsh soil and creek bed sediment was excavated and disposed of off-site.

Wetland restoration construction began in June and was completed in late September 2007, including fresh and salt water wetland plantings. The entire site has been restored and attained a "construction complete" status in late September 2007. Approximately 108,000 tons of contaminated soil, debris and sediment were excavated and disposed of off-site during the entire project. Long-term groundwater monitoring will continue until ecologically-based cleanup levels are attained. EPA will transfer this monitoring to the MassDEP after ten years. Other site maintenance and monitoring, including plant growth monitoring and erosion prevention have been transferred to the MassDEP.

Current Site Status
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EPA continues to monitor the site to ensure there is no immediate threat to human health during the on-going clean up activities. The property remains fenced at the perimeter and there has been no evidence of trespassing.

The first Five Year Review for the site was completed in September 2010. The findings indicate the remedy protective in the short-term, but additional actions need to be taken for the Site to be protective in the long-term. Further information of the required actions are described in the first Five Year Review, available below.

The next Five Year Review will be completed in 2015.

Site Photos
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Links to Other Site Information
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Disclaimer Instructions about PDF

Newsletters & Press Releases:
Press Releases about this project  
Site Activity Update, November 2001  
Site Activity Update, June 2004 (282 KB)  
Site Activity Update, June 2005 (254 KB)  
Site Activity Update, July 2005 (157 KB)  
Site Activity Update, August 2005 (160 KB)  
Site Activity Update, September 2005 (149 KB)  
Site Activity Update, April 2006 (148 KB)  
Site Activity Update, May 2006 (222 KB)  
Site Activity Update, July 2006 (152 KB)  
Site Activity Update, August 2006 (114 KB)  
Site Activity Update, November 2006 (693 KB)  
Site Activity Update, February 2007 (1 MB)   
Site Activity Update, June 2007 (327 KB)  
Site Activity Update, Fall 2007 (902 KB)  

Federal Register Notices:
Final NPL Listing  

Administrative Records:
Removal Action Administrative Record Index, May 27, 1992 (520 KB)  
Record of Decision (ROD) Administrative Record Index, OU01, March 10, 2000 (KB)  
Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) Administrative Record Index, OU01, October 1, 2009 (34 KB)   
Administrative Record Collections  

Reports and Studies:
Preliminary Reuse Assessment, September 2002  
Preliminary Close Out Report (PCOR), September 28, 2007 (873.92 KB)  
Final Interim Remedial Action (RA) Report, Phase 2 and 3, September 24, 2008 (Opening file is 23.4 MB with links to additional files)   
First Five Year Review Report, September 23, 2010 (1.90 MB)  
Second Five Year Review Report, September 22, 2015  

Decision Documents:
Institutional Controls for this Site  
View Records of Decision (RODS) on-line (EPA HQ)  
Record of Decision, March 10, 2000 (2005K)  
Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD), September 16, 2009 (776 KB)  

Other Links:
NPL Site Narrative at Listing:  
Site Progress Profile  
Cleanup Activities Update  
Site Reuse Profile, May 2007 (1 MB)  
Document Collections  

Site Repositories
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Fairhaven Public Library, Center Street, Fairhaven, MA 02719

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: Kimberly White
Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
5 Post Office Square, Suite 100
Mail Code OSRR07-1
Boston, MA 02109-3912
Phone #: 617-918-1752
E-Mail Address: white.kimberly@epa.gov

EPA Community Involvement Coordinator: Kelsey O'Neil
Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
5 Post Office Square, Suite 100
Mail Code ORA01-1
Boston, MA 02109-3912
Phone #: 617-918-1003
E-Mail Address: oneil.kelsey@epa.gov

State Agency Contact: Joseph Coyne
Address: Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup
One Winter Street
Boston, MA 02108
Phone #: 617-348-4066
E-Mail Address: joseph.coyne@state.ma.us


Serving Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, & 10 Tribal Nations
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Last updated on Wednesday, November 4th, 2015
URL: http://www.epa.gov/region1/superfund/sites/atlas