DOI News


Trustees Settle Natural Resource Damage Claims at Industri-Plex NPL Site in Woburn, Middlesex County, Massachusetts


01/11/2013

Industri-Plex National Priorities List site, Woburn, Massachusetts The Industri-Plex NPL site in Woburn, Massachusetts, shown here in November 2009, with the Anderson Regional Transportation Center in the background and site-associated wetlands in the foreground. Photo credit: Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection.

 

On January 11, 2013, the federal and State natural resource trustees settled natural resource damage claims with two parties arising from hazardous substances releases at the Industri-Plex National Priorities List site in Woburn, Middlesex County, in northeastern Massachusetts. This settlement is embodied in a Consent Decree entered with the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

The natural resource trustees in this case include:

  • Commonwealth of Massachusetts, represented by Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs;
  • U.S. Department of Commerce, represented by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and,
  • U.S. Department of the Interior, represented by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Industri-Plex site is a 250-acre, former manufacturing facility bisected by Aberjona River in Woburn. Insecticides, explosives, acids, other chemicals and glue were manufactured by a variety of industries at the site from 1853 to 1969. In 1983, U.S Environmental Protection Agency placed the site on the National Priorities List. Portions of the site have since been remediated and redeveloped for both public and commercial uses.

The two settling parties -- Bayer Cropscience, Inc. and Pharmacia Corp. -- are successors to the companies responsible for the release hazardous substances from the disposal of manufacturing byproducts and residues to pits, piles and lagoons at the site. These hazardous substances contaminated soils with elevated levels of metals such as arsenic, lead and chromium. The trustees determined that these hazardous substances injured natural resources by degrading wetland, river and lake habitat used by a variety of wildlife, including fish, turtles, amphibians and migratory birds.

Under the settlement in the entered Consent Decree, the settling companies will:

  • Pay $437,873 plus interest for the natural resource trustees assessment costs; and,
  • Pay $3,812,127 plus interest for trustee-sponsored natural resource restoration projects.

The funds for restoration projects will be used for restoration project planning, project implementation and project monitoring. Altogether, the total monetary value of the settlement is $4.25 million.

Next, the trustees will prepare a Draft Restoration Plan describing and evaluating options for restoring the injured natural resources and natural resource services at the Industri-Plex site pursuant to the settlement. This Draft Restoration Plan will be made available for public review and comment.

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