Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

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About the Superfund Redevelopment Initiative

This nationally coordinated effort provides EPA and its partners with a process to return Superfund sites to productive use. Learn more at Superfund Redevelopment Initiative.

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Redevelopment at the Site

The Sullivan’s Ledge Superfund site is located in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The site includes a 12-acre former quarry that operated until 1921. In 1935, the City of New Bedford assumed ownership of the site and converted it into a dump for hazardous materials. Waste disposal activities took place at the site from the 1940s until the 1970s, when the City closed the dump and backfilled the disposal areas. In 1982, during investigations associated with the proposed development of the area as a commuter parking lot, the Massachusetts Department of Public Works, now the Massachusetts Highway Department, found soil contamination at the site. As a result, EPA conducted studies in the area and subsequently placed the site on the Superfund program’s National Priorities List (NPL) in 1984. Cleanup activities included placing a cap over the site, removing contaminated soil and sediment, and removing contamination from a neighboring golf course. EPA conducted cleanup activities in a way that allowed for continued use of the golf course during the cleanup process. EPA also restored 13 acres of affected wetlands. Restoration work reached completion in 2000. Today, the wetlands provide habitat for many wildlife species, including the great blue heron, great egret, red-tail hawk and spotted turtle. In 2013, EPA approved the installation of a 1.75-megawatt solar project on the capped area of the site. Project partners SunEdison, Inc., Beaumont Solar, Pro-Tech Energy Solutions and BlueWave Capital LLC announced completion of the system’s construction in September 2014. The 10-acre system includes more than 5,000 solar panels. A partnership between BlueWave Capital and the City of New Bedford is helping further solar projects around New Bedford. The City of New Bedford buys energy generated from the solar arrays, which enables the City to increase its use of renewable energy sources and save 30 percent on municipal electricity bills. Over the course of 20 years, New Bedford will accumulate about $2.7 million in energy savings through the purchase of solar net metering credits. In 2014, EPA recognized the project team, including the City of New Bedford, BlueWave Capital and SunEdison, with Region 1’s first Excellence in Site Reuse award. EPA will continue to ensure the cap’s integrity as reuse continues.

For more information:


News Article: TRC Wins National Award for Landfill Solar Array Reuse Project  Exit Disclaimer

EPA Issues First “Re-use” Awards for New England Superfund Sites

News Article: SunEdison Announces Completion of 1.8 Megawatt Solar Electric System on Superfund Site  Exit Disclaimer

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Economic Activity at the Site

As of December 2017, EPA had data on 3 on-site businesses. These businesses employed 20 people and generated an estimated $1,348,000 in annual sales revenue. View additional information about redevelopment economics at Superfund sites.

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Activity and Use Limitations

At this site, activity and use limitations that EPA calls institutional controls are in place. Institutional controls play an important role in site remedies because they reduce exposure to contamination by limiting land or resource use. They also guide human behavior. For instance, zoning restrictions prevent land uses – such as residential uses – that are not consistent with the level of cleanup. For more background, see Institutional Controls.

Institutional controls are required for this site.

This site requires ICs because a decision document, such as a Record of Decision, has documented some level of contamination and/or remedy component at the site that would restrict use of the site. These ICs are required to help ensure the site is used in an appropriate way and that activities at the site do not damage the cleanup components. These ICs will remain in place for as long as the contamination and/or cleanup components stay on site. The information below is a general summary of the restrictions at this site at this time and may change in the future. The information below is a general description of the restrictions at the site only. The site contacts should be consulted if there are questions on the ICs for this site.
The following IC Instruments provide media-specific use restrictions that have been implemented by EPA for protecting human health, the environment and remedial engineering on this site. Instruments are documents used by EPA or other organizations to implement the use restrictions at a site. To know about other media-specific use restrictions that are planned but not implemented at this site, please contact the Regional Office using the Site Contact listed above.

Click here for IC Instruments implemented for this site.

ICs are generally defined as administrative and legal tools that do not involve construction or physically changing the site. Common examples of ICs include site use and excavation restrictions put in place through State and local authorities like zoning, permits and easements. ICs are normally used when waste is left onsite and when there is a limit to the activities that can safely take place at the site (i.e., the site cannot support unlimited use and unrestricted exposure) and/or when cleanup components of the remedy remains onsite (e.g., landfill caps, pumping equipment or pipelines). Effective ICs help ensure that these sites can be returned to safe and beneficial use.

Disclaimer: This information is being provided by EPA as an informational tool to further assist the public in determining the types of restrictions that may be in place at National Priorities List sites being addressed by EPA under the Superfund program. In addition to the areas addressed by the institutional controls identified on this web site there may be other areas on the property that require restrictions on use of the property that are not captured in this EPA database. States and other entities may have implemented laws or restrictions applicable to this site. The information provided herein does not replace a title search or meet "All Appropriate Inquiry" requirements. U.S. EPA encourages users to review the Site files to obtain information regarding remedy components, containment systems and the land use for which cleanup standards were selected for these sites. More information and links can be found in the Institutional Control instrument collection of document, above, and the EPA regional offices may also be contacted.

Institutional controls are required for this site.

The Sullivan's Ledge Superfund Site has a Grant of Environmental Restriction and Easement (the "GERE") on the property owned by the City of New Bedford (the "City"). The GERE is an important component of the site remedy, and fulfills the requirement of the Consent Decrees among the United States, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and various defendants including the City which establish institutional controls at the site. 

The GERE was recorded with the Bristol County Registry of Deeds on May 30, 2014. A copy of the deed, the plan of the property and plan of the restricted areas, along with a legal description is included as part of the record and provided here.

Except as provided in Paragraph 2 (“Applicability”), Paragraph 4 (“Permitted Uses and Activities”) and Paragraph 6 (“Emergency Excavation”) of the GERE, the following are the restricted uses and activities for the Restricted Area (see Plan of Restricted Areas) of the Property:

A. for Area 1:
i. excavation, removal or disposal of any loam, peat, gravel, sand, rock or other mineral or natural resource;
ii. extraction, excavation dewatering, consumption or utilization of groundwater for any purpose, including without limitation extraction for potable, industrial, irrigation or agricultural use;
iii. cultivation of plants or crops for human consumption;
iv. residential, commercial or industrial activity or use; and
v. any use or activity that would disturb or interfere with, or would be reasonably likely to disturb or interfere with, the implementation, operation or maintenance of the Selected Remedy.

B. for Area 2:
i. extraction, excavation dewatering, consumption or utilization of groundwater for any purpose, including without limitation extraction for potable, industrial, irrigation or agricultural use;
ii. cultivation of plants or crops for human consumption;
iii. residential, commercial or industrial activity or use; and
iv. any use or activity that would disturb or interfere with, or would reasonably likely to disturb or interfere with, the implementation, operation or maintenance of the Selected Remedy.

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