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BOSTON – The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts entered a $366.25 million settlement with AVX Corp. that will expedite the cleanup of polychlorinated biphenyl contamination from New Bedford Harbor and achieve cleanup goals within seven years, rather than 40 years under current funding levels.
The settlement will be paid to provide more than 90 percent of estimated funding needed to complete the PCB cleanup at the New Bedford Harbor Superfund site. The cleanup includes dredging the PCB sediments and disposing of them at a mix of confined disposal facilities on-site, confined aquatic facilities on the harbor floor, and at off-site facilities.
Prior to the settlement’s approval, EPA has been performing the remedy with close to $15 million of funding per year, including $1.5 million in cost-sharing funds provided by the Mass. Department of Environmental Protection. PCBs are suspected carcinogens and have other adverse human health and ecological impacts.
The 18,000-acre New Bedford Harbor Superfund site extends from the Acushnet River estuary, through New Bedford commercial harbor, and into 17,000 acres of Buzzards Bay. •