January 2006

PCB-contaminated soil excavation begins in Acushnet, Massachusetts

Boston, MA— As part of the ongoing New Bedford Harbor PCB cleanup, excavation of two small contaminated areas between the Titleist shoreline parking lot and the River View Park in Acushnet, Massachusetts.

Soil sampling performed after the 2002-2003 PCB cleanup north of the Wood/Slocum Street Bridge found small areas of PCB (polychlorinated biphenyls) contamination higher up the river bank on the Acushnet shoreline than what had been known previously. River View Park is not part of this cleanup effort. The park area was cleaned in 2002 and PCB soil testing continues to shows it meets cleanup standards.

The excavated PCB-contaminated soil will be loaded into sealed trucks which then will be cleaned and inspected before being allowed onto public streets. Only about 15 truck loads in total will be needed. After the contaminated soil is removed, clean backfill soil, a conservation seed mix, and erosion control fabric will be put down. Some additional saltmarsh plantings will be required next spring.

The New Bedford Harbor Superfund site includes all of New Bedford Harbor and parts of the Acushnet River and Buzzards Bay. The harbor was contaminated with PCBs, the result of past waste disposal practices at two capacitor manufacturing plants, one on the Acushnet River, the second on the outer harbor. PCB wastes were discharged directly into the harbor, as well as indirectly through the city’s sewer system. EPA added the harbor to its National Priorities List (known as the Superfund list) in 1983, making the site eligible for federal Superfund cleanup money.

For more information, visit www.epa.gov/ne/nbh.

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