(Also known as the fund established by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980.)
The Superfund program is a law enacted by Congress in 1980 in response to large toxic waste sites discovered in the 1970’s, such as Love Canal in New York and Valley of the Drums in Kentucky. The Superfund program addresses the management and cleanup of hazardous waste sites throughout the United States. Learn how the Superfund cleanup process works here.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) manages Superfund sites through the National Priorities List (NPL), which lists priority areas of concern due to releases or possible releases of hazardous substances and other contaminants throughout the country.
Nationally, there are over 1,000 Superfund sites of which over 100 are in New England, 35 in Massachusetts, and 3 within the Mystic River Watershed.
The 3 Superfund sites in the Mystic River Watershed include the Olin site in Wilmington, Wells G&H site in Woburn, and Industri-Plex site in northern Woburn.
Perhaps you read the book (Jonathan Harr, 1996) or saw the movie (1998) A Civil Action, based upon a lawsuit surrounding the Wells G&H Superfund site that is blamed for several childhood leukemia cases in Woburn.
Wells G& H
The Wells G&H site is located in Woburn and became listed on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1983. In 1979, city police discovered several 55-gallon abandoned drums of industrial waste on the 330 acre site. Read more about the Wells G&H site here.
This 53 acre site in Wilmington operated as a chemical manufacturing facility from 1953 to 1986, and in 2006 became listed on the National Priorities List (NPL). Wastewater disposal into unlined lagoons is a major source of the contamination associated with the Olin Chemical Site. Read more about the Olin Chemical site here.
Industri-Plex is the site of a former chemical and glue manufacturing facility located in northern Woburn. On the National Priorities List (NPL) since 1983, this site includes by-products and wastes from over 130 years of industrial processes. Read more about the Industri-Plex site here.