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Cleanup Continues for Contaminated New Bedford Harbor

A hybrid dredge prepares to place highly contaminated sediment removed from the Upper Harbor to a slurry tank, from which the material was pumped for desanding, dewatering, and eventual disposal in a secure off-site landfill. U.S. EPA

Posted on January 12, 2021

NEW BEDFORD – The US Environmental Protection Agency reported that the past several years have seen significant progress in addressing the polychlorinated biphenyl  contamination in New Bedford Harbor.

Recently, EPA’s cleanup work in the harbor achieved major milestones in the effort that will now result in the EPA transferring control of a 5-acre industrial port facility with rail access, originally used as a sediment dewatering facility within New Bedford’s waterfront.

The EPA said that the transfer will be a significant advance for the city and its ongoing economic revitalization.

The cleanup effort lasted 17 years, with Superfund dredging of PCB-contaminated sediments in both the upper and lower harbor below the tide line finally being completed in March of 2020.

“EPA is very proud that our lengthy history addressing industrial pollution in New Bedford Harbor has achieved substantial results. EPA is making good on our commitment to see this project through in completion for residents of New Bedford,” said EPA New England Regional Administrator Dennis Deziel in a statement.

“Through our cleanup work, EPA is ensuring that the Harbor does not pose health risks to people coming into contact with sediments or, in the long-term, when eating fish in and around the Harbor.”

The EPA said that during 2021, they will continue to remediate shoreline.

A virtual public meeting will be held on January 13 at 6 pm to elaborate on the status of the harbor cleanup, including the remedial work still planned for this year.

More information on the project can be found at the EPA website.

Source: capecod

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