North Smithfield, RI (11/9/2022) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reached a proposed settlement with 13 “potentially responsible parties” (PRPs) which have agreed to finance and conduct all remedial design and remedial action activities to address groundwater contamination at the Landfill and Resource Recovery, Inc. (L&RR) Superfund Site located on Oxford Road in North Smithfield, Rhode Island.
“This settlement is great news for the people of North Smithfield, and for taxpayers everywhere,” said EPA New England Regional Administrator David W. Cash. “Making meaningful progress to ensure Superfund sites like this one get cleaned up is a huge benefit for communities. Many communities where Superfund sites are located have suffered from disproportionate pollution burdens, so EPA is especially pleased that this settlement will expedite work in North Smithfield.”
The State of Rhode Island participated in negotiations and is a party to the consent decree. This settlement means the groundwater cleanup plan selected by EPA for the Site will proceed as quickly as possible with costs being borne by companies responsible for the contamination and will not be a burden to taxpayers. The groundwater cleanup will address volatile organic compounds, metals, 1,4-dioxane, PFOA and PFOS contamination related to the L&RR Site. The settlement also includes performance of a contingency remedy, if EPA determines the selected remedy will not meet cleanup levels in a reasonable time period.
“This settlement results from the shared regulatory vigilance of EPA Region I and DEM, will expedite clean-up work to protect public health and the environment in North Smithfield, and holds polluters accountable for the consequences of their actions,” said Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) Director Terry Gray. “We appreciate EPA’s partnership in achieving these critical goals.”
The 13 PRPs participating in this consent decree are: Aerosols Danville Inc.; Clean Harbors of Braintree, Inc.; Avnet, Inc.; Waste Management of Massachusetts, Inc.; Bixby International Corporation; Waste Management of Rhode Island, Inc.; Corning Incorporated; Electric Boat Corporation; Life Technologies Corporation; NSTAR Electric Company; OCG Microelectronics Materials, Inc.; Ballantyne Legacy Holdings, LLC; and Stanley Black & Decker, Inc.
The cleanup remedy includes the following components:
- In situ (below ground) treatment and sequestration of groundwater contaminants using a two-stage reactive treatment zone.
- Land use restrictions (called “Institutional Controls” or ICs) to prohibit the use of contaminated groundwater until cleanup levels are met and to require evaluation of the vapor intrusion pathway as part of new building construction.
- Contingency implementation of active groundwater extraction and ex situ (above ground) treatment, if the proposed remedy will not be effective in attaining cleanup levels at the Site.
- Restoration with native vegetation of any wetland habitat altered by the remedial action.
- Long-term groundwater, surface water, and residential well monitoring.
- Periodic reviews, at a minimum of every five years, to assess the protectiveness of the remedy.
EPA’s cleanup remedy for Operable Unit 2 that addresses groundwater at the Site is estimated to cost approximately $11.7 million with the alternate contingency (groundwater extraction and treatment) remedy estimated at $14.6 million and is estimated to take approximately two to three years to design and begin implementation. Groundwater is estimated to achieve cleanup standards immediately downgradient of the remedy within approximately 20 years. Institutional controls will prevent exposure to contaminated groundwater at the Site until cleanup levels are met.
The 28-acre Landfill & Resource Recovery Site is an inactive landfill on Oxford Road that began as a sand and gravel operation. The landfill began accepting residential waste in 1927, and over its years of operation it also accepted commercial and industrial wastes. Operation of the landfill permanently stopped in January 1985 after an order from the Superior Court of Rhode Island. EPA has estimated that more than 2 million gallons of hazardous chemicals including solvents, plating waste, asbestos, oils and dyes were brought to the landfill for disposal. EPA issued a Record of Decision selecting a remedy for the landfill in 1988. Construction of the landfill remedy was completed in 1995 and monitoring and operation and maintenance activities are on-going.
The settlement is documented in a consent decree, lodged in the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island on November 9, 2022. The consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and approval by the federal court. A copy of the consent decree and information on how to provide comments will be available on the U.S. Department of Justice’s website: https://www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decrees.
For more information about the Landfill and Resource Recovery, Inc. (L&RR) Superfund Site and cleanup progress visit: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/lrr.
Contact Information: David Deegan (firstname.lastname@example.org) (617) 918-1017