Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

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Site Background

The Burgess Brothers Landfill is located in Bennington, Vermont.

Burgess Brothers Construction Company operated the facility as a sand pit, salvage yard and landfill from the 1940s until the mid-1970s. Union Carbide Corp.'s Bennington Plant disposed of wastes from battery manufacturing, an unknown quantity of lead sludge, and the equivalent of 47,780 drums of hazardous wastes at the site. Facility operations contaminated soil, ground water and surface water with heavy metals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Following construction of the site’s remedy, operation and maintenance activities and monitoring are ongoing.

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EPA’s Involvement at this Site

Starting in the early 1950s the site was used as a metal salvage facility and disposal area. Metals, sludge, rejected small appliance and military specialty batteries were also disposed at the site. The two lagoons received liquid wastes and sludge from about 1967 to 1976. These wastes consisted of lead-contaminated wastewater, spent solvents, and battery wastes. From 1971-1976, about 2,371,100 gallons of liquid waste, primarily trichloroethene (TCE) and tetrachloroethene (PCE), and 241,090 pounds of solid or semi-solid wastes (primarily lead sludge) were reported disposed of at the site. Site investigations and information provided by the former site operator indicated the landfill also received newspaper and building demolition debris.

EPA's invovlement with this site began in the mid-1980s with investigations to evaluate the environmental impact of the disposal operations. . EPA placed the site on the Superfund program’s National Priorities List (NPL) in 1989.

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Site Status

The site’s remedy included landfill capping, soil vapor extraction and groundwater treatment. Construction of a cap over the landfill and the soil vapor extraction system finished in 1999. In September 2011, the cleanup plan was updated to address groundwater contamination that had moved beyond the landfill cap. Two groundwater interceptor trenches were constructed in 2013-2014 to capture the contaminated groundwater.  Following several modifications to the treatment system, the groundwater extraction and treatment system has functioned as designed since September 2015.  Long-term monitoring of the groundwater and operation and maintenance of the system is ongoing.

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Work to Protect Human Health and the Environment

The site is being addressed through federal, state, and potentially responsible party (PRP) actions. Site PRPs agreed in 1991 to take responsibility for the cleanup. The long-term cleanup focuses on the entire site. EPA initially selected a cleanup plan that included putting a multi-barrier cap over the landfill and a soil cap over an adjacent marshy area that was downgradient from the landfill. The plan also called for treating groundwater through a system called air sparging and through soil vacuum extraction of soil contaminated with VOCs in the former lagoon area. The plan also called for land use controls and long-term monitoring to be sure the cleanup remains effective. The initial work was finished by March 2000.

The soil vacuum extraction/air sparging system operated from December 2000 through 2002. It was determined that the air sparging was no longer helping remove VOCs and it was discontinued. In January 2004, concentrations of VOCs stabilized, indicating the presence of an ongoing VOC source. The vapor evaporation system was stopped in February 2005 and remained shut down through the end of 2006. At the direction of EPA, operation resumed in August 2007 and was terminated again in 2011 with the selection of a new cleanup plan.

As noted above, the amended plan has been implemented.  Sampling results to date indicate that the two interceptor trenches are capturing the contaminated groundwater and the treatment system is effectively removing the contaminants from the groundwater.  The site will be inspected every five years to ensure that the cleanup remedy continues to be effective.

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Site Risks

Risks and pathways addressed by the cleanup include health risks from people ingesting or touching contaminants in soil, surface water and groundwater. The landfill is fenced and the rest of the site is unrestricted, though located in a remote area. Sensitive areas nearby include freshwater wetlands and national forest land, which are used for recreational purposes. These areas have not been affected by site contamination.

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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 matrix below is a general summary of the restrictions at this site at the date of this report. The information in this matrix 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. Note that where multiple entries occur, it will impact more than one pathway.

Click here for IC Instruments implemented for this site.

To contact EPA regarding Institutional Controls and/or activity and use limitations, please complete this form.

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 on the site profile page, in the Institutional Control instruments collection of document, above, and the EPA regional offices may also be contacted.

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