Settlement Reached in Polluted Centredale Manor Case

By ecoRI News staff

NORTH PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice have reached a settlement with New England Container Company Inc. (NECC) relating to the Centredale Manor restoration project Superfund site. Under the terms of a consent decree filed April 10 in U.S. District Court, NECC will make a payment of $8.75 million to resolve its liability.

In 2012, the United States filed a cross-claim against NECC and others in a consolidated action concerning the site. With trial approaching, NECC agreed to settle. EPA will be able to use the settlement money to help fund future clean-up efforts at the site.

The property is just south of Route 44, on the eastern bank of the Woonasquatucket River, and was previously the location of a chemical manufacturer operated by a predecessor to Emhart Industries Inc. and NECC’s container reconditioning operation. NECC operated its business on the site from about 1952 until 1971. Elevated levels of contaminants, including dioxin, polychlorinated biphenyls and other hazardous substances, have been detected on the site in soil, groundwater, sediment, surface water and biota.

The property was placed on the National Priorities List — better known as the Superfund list — in 2000. The clean-up decision by EPA on necessary remedial actions for the site is contained in a September 2012 “Record of Decision” and calls for a comprehensive cleanup at the site, including the excavation and disposal of dioxin-contaminated sediments.

The consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period which will begin by the end of the working day April 17.