Upcoming Events: .
The Public Meeting on the Proposed Remedial Action Plan for the Nuclear Metals, Inc. Superfund Site will be at 6:30 PM on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at the Concord Town Hall Meeting Room (22 Monument Square, Concord, MA).
The Public Hearing on the Proposed Remedial Action Plan for the Nuclear Metals, Inc. Superfund Site will be at 6:30 PM on Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at the Concord Town Hall Meeting Room (22 Monument Square, Concord, MA).
Concord 2007 Town Meeting Approves CREW Members Proposed Zoning Bylaw Change to Improve Future Cleanup of Superfund Site.
With the unanimous support of the Selectmen, the Planning Board and the Superfund Oversight Committee, the Town Meeting voted by an overwhelming majority to change the Concord Zoning Bylaw by permitting residential development on the 46 acre Nuclear Metals/Starmet Superfund Site. This change makes it more likely that the Environmental Protection Agency will use residential standards in designing the cleanup of the property. A residential cleanup leaves the least amount of radioactive and toxic material at the site, and will result in the least health risk from contamination to future generations living in Concord.
The vote in the affirmative was the result of a year long effort by CREW supporters with the Concord Planning Department, the Planning Board, the 2229 Main Street Superfund Oversight Committee and a number of civic organizations. This vote, and the vote on Article 51 of the 2003 Town Meeting, shows that there is strong support in Concord for residential cleanup of the Superfund Site.
For the wording of the change in the Bylaw click here. (Downloads a WORD doc)
Study of Beryllium Exposure in Former Starmet/Nuclear Metals Workers
Researchers at Boston University are studying a link between exposure to beryllium and a certain type of lung disease that may effect past workers at Starmet (Nuclear Metals). Workers who were employed between 1958 to 1986 are invited to participate in a free and confidential health screening to check for signs of sensitization to beryllium. Inhalation or incidental contact with beryllium can lead to a serious respiratory illness called chronic beryllium disease. However exposure to beryllium does not necessarily mean the disease has been contracted. Those who are diagnosed with the illness or their survivors are eligible for a lump sum payment of $150,000 from the federal government as well as ongoing medical care. For more information or to schedule a free health screening call 877-466-3089.
Removal of Radioactive Material from Starmet Buildings Completed.
EPA Starts Removal of Other Hazardous Materials.
Under a contract with the Mass. Department of Environmental Protection, Envirocare Inc. removed all identifiable radioactive material from the Starmet Plant. The material shipped to Clive, Utah, includes 1565 drums of uranium tetrafluoride, 1097 drums of a concrete and uranium mixture (conjoint), 447 drums of uranium waste, 200 tons of uranium metal and other miscellaneous waste. The work was completed in December 2006. The funding for the contract was provided by the U.S. Army.
In January 2008, EPA began a "Time Critical Removal Action" at the Nuclear Metals, Inc. Superfund site to remove containers of hazardous substances within the facility that pose a risk of fire or explosion. EPA has undertaken the action at the request of the Town of Concord Fire Department, which expressed concern about the facilitys ability to adequately manage combustible and flammable hazardous materials following a June 2007 fire at the site. The majority of the containers were improperly stored and located in portions of the facility buildings that are no longer used for manufacturing. Contractors for the operation are the Shaw Group and Weston Solutions Inc.
Phase 1 of EPA Investigation of Soil and Water Completed
In October 2004, under the supervision of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, de maximis, inc., started an investigation of the Superfund Site to locate all contaminants and prepare a feasibility study of the Site cleanup. So far over 1300 samples of soil, sediment and water have been collected and analyzed. Since each sample is analyzed for a number of different contaminants, the data base contains over 300,000 records. Soil contamination has been found at several locations on the Site. Contamination has also been located in the ground water. The major contaminant is uranium. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB's) and volatile organic compounds are also present. A number of other chemicals have been detected at lower concentrations. Analysis of data is being conducted to determine the extent of, and the risk from, the contamination.
Cleanup of Material Buried before 1970 Completed
In December 2004, de maximis, inc., under supervision of the EPA, removed from the ground between the Holding Basin and Cooling Water Recharge Pond a number of drums containing some uranium and beryllium waste, production tools and production materials, buried in 1967. Photographs of the removal operation can be seen via a link at http://www.nmisite.org .
In April 2003 Weston Solutions Inc., under a contract with EPA, removed from the ground in the area of the Old Landfill (south of Bog) drums containing uranium and beryllium, more production tools and materials, then filled, graded and covered the area.
CREW-Sponsored Article Passed at 2003 Concord Town Meeting
Members of CREW petitioned an article in the warrant for the Concord Annual Town Meeting of 2003 to give the Environmental Protection Agency support in negotiating for the best cleanup with the organizations responsible for the contamination of the Nuclear Metals Inc. Superfund Site. The Town Meeting voted overwhelmingly in the affirmative under this article on May 7, 2003. The Concord Board of Selectmen has notified the Environmental Protection Agency of the Town Meeting's action. (Full text of article)
Is Starmet Still in Business?
In the Spring of 2002, Starmet filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. There are over 100 creditors including Citizens Bank, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the U.S. Government, and Envirocare of Utah. An auction of some of Starmets machinery was held on October 21, 2002 at the Concord plant, the proceeds going to those creditors with a lien on the machinery. The buyer left most of the equipment on the premises under rental for a nominal fee. Starmets office is at the Concord facility, but manufacture of uranium products has ceased. Starmets Barnwell, South Carolina plant has been closed by order of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.
In 2001, shortly before Starmet filed for bankruptcy, two new companies were created, Advanced Specialty Metals LLC (ASM) and Applied Material Sciences LLC (AMS). ASM was established by Donald King, a Starmet employee. Both companies list corporate locations at the same address in Nashua, NH, but apparently manufacture products at Starmets Concord facility.
In the Spring of 2002 the Attorney General's office placed Starmet in Receivership. In a Report of Consultant to the Temporary Receiver, the Consultant wrote the following: "There is substantial evidence of co-mingling of assets, employees and financial transactions as between Starmet, Advanced Specialty Metals, LLC ("ASM") and Applied Material Sciences, LLC ("AMS"). Further, it is believed that a substantial amount of gross margin has been diverted from Starmet to ASM during this period. Such co-mingling and diversion makes it unlikely that Starmet has been operating as an independent entity for the benefit for its own creditors and shareholders since October 1, 2001, when ASM was established.