A Superfund is a federally designated clean-up site that is usually contaminated with hazardous substances. Most of these clean-up projects take years to complete; sometimes even decades. There are hundreds all over the United States, and often times, public citizens aren’t informed about their whereabouts. This was the case recently for residents in the small town of Billerica, Massachusetts. 31 Superfunds are listed by the government in Massachusetts, and one of them was nestled perniciously in their quiet neighborhood.

The Superfund site is called Iron Horse Park, and it was formally an industrial complex built on the premises of a railroad yard some hundred years ago. What has been left behind from the site is rusting equipment and an overwhelming amount of wastewater. Residents of the town were unaware of the site for the most part, but acknowledged that the town had a sort of “chemical smell” that was nearly palpable.

More than 61,000 people in the town were within three miles of the site. The main contaminants were asbestos and lead. With the bureaucracy and red-tape that most Superfund sites are tangled with, the process of decontaminating and cleaning up the site often times takes decades. The Iron Horse Park site was listed in 1984 and isn’t planned on clearing until 2031. The cost of the clean-up is slated at four million, but an addition million dollars will expedite the process and cut 15 years out of the process.

It is imperative to plan a site efficiently and with an immense attention to detail to avoid your facilities from contributing to a potential Superfund. For professional civil engineer consulting and land planning and development, contact us at Excel Engineering. Call us today at 1-800-806-1206