Town Manager Jeff Hull Provides Update On Olin, Anticipates Major Milestone In February 2020

WILMINGTON, MA — Below is a message from Town Manager Jeff Hull, published in the latest Town Topics newsletter:

A major milestone in early 2020 will be the much awaited draft clean-up plan for the 53-acre Olin Chemical Superfund Site on 51 Eames Street. In 2006 this site was designated on the National Priorities List which represents sites from across the country containing contaminants of various forms that require remediation. In 2007 the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) entered into an Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) with the current and prior owners of the property to initiate a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) with the long term goal of site clean-up.

Numerous technical studies have been performed to assess the soil, surface water, sediments and ground water at locations on the Olin site and on other property around the site. The studies have been performed by consultants hired by the Olin Corporation. The findings and conclusions have been reviewed by EPA, the Town, and its environmental consultant and a consultant working with a local community group known as Wilmington Environmental Restoration Committee (WERC). These studies are intended to develop an understanding about the nature of the contaminants, where contaminants are located, and the movements of contaminants. Representatives from EPA have noted the complexity of the Olin Chemical Superfund Site.

The expectation is that, in the February time frame, EPA will issue a proposed plan which will take the alternative approaches for remediating the site that are under consideration and propose a specific set of approaches. The Town, residents and other interested parties will have at least thirty (30) days to provide feedback to the EPA on their proposal. The Town will provide links to the EPA documents on its website and provide documents for review at Wilmington Memorial Library. EPA will hold a public hearing and formal hearing to receive comment.

EPA will be negotiating with the responsible parties to finance the actual clean-up, continue to fill in gaps in data that may exist, and consider long-term options for clean-up of the groundwater. After reviewing the public comments, EPA will issue an Interim Action Record Of Decision (ROD). This ROD will serve as a roadmap for efforts to restore the site to the fullest extent possible. Typically EPA seeks to restore sites to the point where they can be re-used for productive purposes.

While we are closing in on a significant milestone, that of agreeing upon steps to remediate the site, efforts to execute that plan to conclusion will take many, many years. The Board of Selectmen and other town officials remain steadfast in our efforts to ensure that this hazardous waste Superfund Site is fully remediated.

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