Environmental Protection Agency
Skip common site navigation and headers
United States Environmental Protection Agency
Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England
  Serving Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont & 9 Tribal Nations
Begin Hierarchical Links EPA Home > EPA Home > Cleanup > Find NE Sites > IRON HORSE PARK End Hierarchical Links


Table of Contents:
 Advanced Search
 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
 North Billerica,  Massachusetts
 Middlesex County
 Street Address: High Street
 Zip Code: 01862

 EPA ID #: MAD051787323
 Site ID #: 0100524
 Site Aliases: Boston and Maine RR, Iron Horse Park/RSI, Inc. Dump, Iron Horse Park/John Manville Dump, Shaffer Landfill, Billerica Landfill, Pond St. Landfill

 Site Responsibility: Federal, Potentially Responsible Parties

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

Site Description
[Back to Top]

This page will automatically redirect to the site's new Site Profile Page at www.epa.gov/superfund/ironhorse

Please make a note.

The Iron Horse Park site, a 553-acre industrial complex, includes manufacturing and railyard maintenance facilities, open storage areas, landfills, and wastewater lagoons. A long history of activities at the site, beginning in 1913, has resulted in the contamination of soil, groundwater, and surface water. An asbestos landfill is located at the site adjacent to the lagoons area. Middlesex Canal runs along the length of the northern boundary and is drained by Content Brook, which runs through residential areas into the Shawseen River east of the site. Richardson Pond lies north of the site and is also drained by Content Brook. An unnamed brook, which runs northerly through the site near wastewater lagoons, drains into a marshland near the asbestos landfill. Approximately 61,000 people live within a 3-mile radius of the site. There are four day care centers or nursery schools, two housing units for the elderly, and a walk-in clinic in the area. A trailer park and condominium complex are located within 1 mile of the site.

Threats and Contaminants
[Back to Top]

On-site groundwater and surface water are sporadically contaminated with organic and inorganic chemicals, asbestos, and heavy metals including arsenic, cadmium, lead, and selenium. The soil at the site is contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), petrochemicals, and the same heavy metals as those found in the groundwater. The majority of surface water contamination is located in the vicinity of the now-closed Shaffer Landfill. People may be at risk by coming into direct contact with or accidentally ingesting contaminated water, soil, or sediments. Environmentally sensitive marshland and wetlands are located near the site and could be subject to contamination.

Cleanup Approach
[Back to Top]

The site is being addressed in four stages: the initial actions and four long-term remedial phases which include: cleanup of the lagoon areas; Shaffer Landfill; remaining site-wide source areas; and groundwater, surface water and sediments throughout the rest of the site.

Response Action Status
[Back to Top]

Initial Action In 1984, the EPA removed asbestos deposits from various areas on the site and covered an asbestos landfill with gravel, stone, and topsoil. The EPA then seeded and fenced the area. By covering the asbestos landfill, the EPA eliminated the potential of inhaling fugitive asbestos dust particles. A new fence has been constructed across the access road leading to the asbestos landfill, further restricting access to the area.

Lagoon Areas In October 1997, EPA issued an Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) which changed the chosen remedy for this portion of the site from bio-remediation to excavation and removal of contaminated soils and sludge for asphalt batching. Asphalt batching involves blending the contaminated material with asphaltic material at an asphalt batching plant to produce a stabilized mixture in which the contaminants are immobilized. This material is suitable for use as a base for paving. In October and November 1997, approximately 10,000 cubic yards of contaminated material were removed by the owner to an asphalt batching plant for treatment. In the fall of 2000, closure sampling was conducted to confirm that all material requiring treatment had been removed. Material that exceeds the cleanup criteria was excavated and removed in the late summer of 2002. A completion report documenting the completion of cleanup activities at the Lagoon Areas was submitted by the PRPs in September 2003.

Shaffer Landfill The Shaffer Landfill has two lobes and occupies approximately 60 acres. In 1991, the EPA completed an investigation of the Shaffer Landfill area that evaluated the then-existing cover and considered other capping options. Cleanup methods selected included reconstruction of the landfill cap and collection and off-site treatment and disposal of leachate. In August 2000, a settlement was reached between EPA, MADEP and a group of potentially responsible parties to undertake the cleanup of Shaffer Landfill. Construction of the landfill cap began in the spring of 2001 and was completed during in the summer of 2003. The PRP group which performed the construction, submitted a final construction report in September 2003, documenting the construction activities and demonstrating compliance with the requirements of the project. The Operation and Maintenance phase of the project began in the fall of 2003. This phase entails, maintenance of the landfill cap and associated features of the remedy, as well as monitoring of groundwater, burning of landfill gas(via the on-site flare) and collection and disposal of leachate. Operation and Maintenance activities are ongoing. See "Current Site Status" below for additional information.

Sitewide source areas - Soil Extensive sampling was conducted during 1993 to evaluate the levels, extent, potential sources, and possible means of migration of contamination in these media and associated with a number of source areas around Iron Horse Park. Additional investigations including a risk assessment began in 1994. A remedial Investigation (RI) was completed in the fall of 1997. A Feasibility Study (FS) was completed in May 2004 to evaluate potential alternatives for the remediation of this area. In addition, a Proposed Plan recommending a series of cleanup alternatives, was completed in May 2004. The Proposed Plan was mailed to interested parties on May 26, 2004. EPA held an informational meeting regarding the Proposed Plan on June 16, 2004 at Town Hall in Billerica. The Record of Decision (ROD) selecting the remedies for the affected media was signed on September 30, 2004. This ROD, which addressed the source areas only, chose capping in place as the remedy for the various source areas (see the link below to view the text of the ROD). In September 2007, EPA reached a settlement with responsible parties (PRPs), where the PRPs will implement the remedies chosen in the September 2004 ROD. The PRPs completed design of the remedy, with EPA oversight, in 2012. Certain aspects of this cleanup have been completed, see "Current Site Status" below for additional information.

Sitewide Groundwater, Surface Water and Sediment In order to address risk from potential exposure to groundwater, surface water and sediments at Iron Horse Park, EPA gathered additional data from these media during 2004, 2005 and 2006. This data is being utilized to update the risk assessment and RI, and to aid in the development of the Feasibility Study. A ROD is planned to address site groundwater, surface water and sediment. EPA released its proposed Operable Unit 4 cleanup plan in October 2010 for public comment. The ROD for Operable Unit 4 was signed in July 2011. See "Current Site Status" below for additional information.

Five-year Review In September 2013, EPA completed the 4th Five-Year Review for Iron Horse Park. The purpose of five-year reviews is to periodically (at least every 5 years) revisit sites that either have waste left in place at the end of a cleanup, or those sites where cleanups have not yet been completed, and to determine whether the remedy chosen in the ROD, remains protective.
The 4th Five-Year concluded that:

The remedy at OU-1 is protective of human health and the environment.

The remedy at OU-2 is expected to be protective of human health and the environment upon completion, and in the interim, exposure pathways that could result in unacceptable risks are being controlled.

The remedy at OU-3 is expected to be protective upon completion. As noted elsewhere, design of the OU-3 remedy began in the spring of 2008.

The remedy at OU-4 has not yet been implemented

For further detail regarding the 4th Five-Year Review for Iron Horse Park, use the link below to access the Five-Year Review document.

The 5th Five-Year Review for Iron Horse Park will be due by September 2018.

Enforcement HighlightsA Consent Agreement was reached in 1984 between the State and the site owners for closure of the Shaffer Landfill. The agreement established a series of cleanup activities and a schedule for their implementation at the landfill. In 1990, the potentially responsible parties assumed responsibility for designing the cleanup approach for the lagoon areas under a Consent Decree with the EPA. In 1993, potentially responsible parties assumed responsibility for designing the remedy chosen by the EPA to address the Shaffer Landfill. In August, 2000 a settlement was reached with potentially responsible parties agreeing to perform the cleanup of Shaffer Landfill. In September 2007, EPA reached a settlement with responsible parties for implementation of the remedy selected in 2004. Design of the remedy by responsible parties, with EPA oversight, was completed in 2012.

Environmental Progress
[Back to Top]

The removal of asbestos materials and capping the asbestos landfill have reduced the potential for exposure to asbestos at the Iron Horse Park site. The installation of a cap at the Shaffer Landfill helped to control odors and eliminate the migration of contaminants into the surface water and groundwater on and off site. Removal of contaminated soils in the Lagoon Area have brought that portion of the Iron Horse Park site near completion. Further planned activities will continue to reduce the potential for exposure to hazardous substances at the site.

Current Site Status
[Back to Top]

B&M Lagoons - Cleanup activities have been completed.

Shaffer Landfill - Remedy construction activities were completed in 2003. Operation and Maintenance activities have commenced, including groundwater monitoring. In January 2014, construction began on a 6 Megawatt solar facility, utilizing approximately 19,000 photovoltaic panels. Construction on the solar facility was substantially completed in June of 2014 and the facility went "on-line" in August 2014.

The remainder of the site includes 7 potential source areas of concern (AOCs). A Record of Decision addressing sources of contamination was signed in September 2004. In September 2007, EPA reached a settlement with responsible parties to implement the remedy chosen in the September 2004 ROD. Design of the remedy by responsible parties, with EPA oversight, began in the spring of 2008. Cleanup activities in one of the AOCs, BNZ Materials, were completed in 2010. The designs for the cleanups of the additional source areas were completed in 2012. Cleanup activities in two additional areas (AOC 4 - the Oil/Sludge Recycling Area, and AOC 5 - the Contaminated Soils Area), were completed in 2014. Planning is underway to complete the remaining areas.

Surface water, sediment and groundwater have been split into a separate study and are addressed in a separate Record of Decision. In October 2010, EPA released a proposed plan for public comment. A Record of Decision, selecting a remedy for Operable Unit 4 was completed in July 2011(See the Record of Decision Operable Unit 4 link below for more information). In 2012 (responsible parties) and 2013 (EPA) additional data was gathered to help focus cleanup efforts in the B&M Pond portion of OU4. EPA reached a settlement with responsible parties in September 2014 for the implementation (design and construction) of the Operable Unit 4 remedy. Planning for the design is now underway.

Site Photos
[Back to Top]

Shaffer Landfill construction photos

SDMS 452923
Regrading, north slope "Residential" Lobe

SDMS 452924
Liner being placed over grading/foundation layer and seams welded. North slope "Commercial" Lobe.

SDMS 452925
Completed slope(south side "Commercial Lobe") following seeding and mulching.
Temporary mid-slope sedimentation fence until vegetation is established.

SDMS 452926
Foreground - portion of completed Commercial Lobe with established vegetation.
Background - capping progress on Residential Lobe showing liner and drainage layer(black) over soil foundation layer.

SDMS 452927
Background of previous picture is now foreground, showing vegetative support material now liner/drainage layer.
Following this, topsoil, hydroseed and mulch will be placed.

SDMS 452929
Wetland Restoration area east of Commercial Lobe (Gray Street side), following excavation.

SDMS 452928
Wetland Restoration after backfilling (placement) of wetland soil, prior to replanting of wetland plants. Viewed from landfill.

Racking system. Awaiting installation of solar panels

Partially installed solar panels

Completed solar project.

Links to Other Site Information
[Back to Top]
Disclaimer Instructions about PDF

Newsletters & Press Releases:
Press Releases about this project  
Proposed Plan, OU 4, Groundwater and Sediment, October 2010  
Presentation for the Public Information Meeting for the OU 4 Proposed Cleanup Plan, October 24, 2010 (1.44 MB)  

Federal Register Notices:
Final NPL Listing  

Administrative Records:
Administrative Record Index, OU 01 Record of Decision (ROD), September 15, 1988 (560 KB)  
Administrative Record Index, OU 02 Record of Decision (ROD), June 27, 1991(859 KB)  
Administrative Record Index, OU03 Record of Decision (ROD), September 30, 2004 (606.14 KB)  
Administrative Record Index, OU04 Record of Decision (ROD), August 3, 2011 (349 KB)  
Administrative Record Index, OU04 Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD), July 22, 2014 (465 KB)  

Reports and Studies:
Remedial Investigation (RI) Report Volumes 1 through 5, September 01, 1997 (Opening file is 27.5 MB with links to additional PDF files)  
Second Five Year Review Report, September 24, 2003 (1321KB)  
Third Five Year Review Report, September 26, 2008 (21.7MB)  
Feasibility Study (FS) Final Report for OU 3, Volumes 1 through 3, March 1, 2003 (Opening file is 14.6 MB with links to additional PDF files)  
Draft Final Feasibility Study (FS) for OU 4, October 1, 2010 (5.88 MB)  
Data Evaluation Report, OU 4, March 2005 (24.3 MB)  
Ecological Risk Assessment / Wetlands Remedial Investigation Addendum (ERA/WRIA), September 2006 (15.3 MB)  
Groundwater Data Evaluation Report, OU 4, September 2006 (43.5 MB)  
Supplemental Human Health Risk Assessment (HHRA), February 2008 (2.91 MB)  
Supplemental Groundwater Data Evaluation Report, OU 4, November 2008 (7.29 MB)  
Fourth Five Year Review Report, Operable Units (OU) 1, 2, 3, and 4. September 25, 2013 (9.89 MB)  

Decision Documents:
View Records of Decision (RODS) on-line (EPA HQ)  
Record of Decision (ROD), September 15, 1988 (1774K)  
Record of Decision (ROD), Shaffer Landfill Operable Unit 2, June 27, 1991, (5.23 MB)   
Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD), October 1, 1997 (920 KB)  
Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD), September 8, 2000 (287 KB)  
Record of Decision (ROD), Operable Unit 3, September 30, 2004 (18.4 MB)  
Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD), Operable Unit 3, June 19, 2009 (1.03 MB)  
Record of Decision (ROD), Operable Unit 4, July 25, 2011 (6.95 MB)  
Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD), Operable Unit 4, July 22, 2014 (6.43 KB)  

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

Site Repositories
[Back to Top]

Billerica Public Library, 25 Concord Road, Billerica, MA 01821

OSRR Records and Information Center, 1st Floor, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100 (HSC), Boston, MA 02109-3912 (617) 918-1440

[Back to Top

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: Rodney Elliott
Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
New England Regional Laboratory
11 Technology Drive
Chelmsford, MA 01863-243
Phone #: 617-918-8372
E-Mail Address: elliott.rodney@epa.gov


Serving Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, & 10 Tribal Nations
Begin Site Footer

EPA Home | Privacy and Security Notice | Contact Us

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