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February 18, 2009

Superfund: Woburn winding down.

Never as infamous as Love Canal, but equally as disturbing in its harm to human beings and property, the Woburn Superfund site got the rapt attention and genuine concern of even the most industry-oriented environmental lawyers, and their clients. Woburn, in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, also received more than its fifteen minutes as the subject of Jonathan Harr's book A Civil Action, which later became a popular movie. Due to the litigation described in the book, and the threat to the local public water supply, EPA in 1983 designated 330 acres of Woburn a Superfund site (Wells G and H site).

Like other New England sites, Woburn was a hazardous waste site for well over 100 years. After another 25 years of litigation, discovery, EPA enforcement activity, remediation and mega-publicity, the clean-up effort at Woburn continues. About four more years to go. See The Boston Globe of February 12: "After 25 years, Superfund site cleanup nears final phase". If you are interested in a slightly jaded but concerned view of what Superfund (or CERCLA) achieved, and did not achieve, read "A Dark Legacy's Impact", which appeared three years ago in Water & Wastewater News.

Posted by JD Hull at February 18, 2009 11:52 PM


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