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Superfund Site Report: SYLVESTER
  • Map Locating Superfund Site
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  • Site Description
    Stage of Clean-up: Construction Completed

    Conditions at listing (October l98l): The Sylvester (Gilson Road) Site covers 20 acres in a residential area of Nashua, New Hampshire. During the l970s, a 6-acre former sand/gravel pit became a dump for household refuse, demolition materials, chemical sludges, and hazardous liquids. High concentrations of HEAVY METALS and organic chemicals contaminate the underlying ground water, which formed a plume that moved rapidly toward Lyle Reed Brook. The brook is a tributary of the Nashua River, which is a source of drinking water. The dumping at the site was first discovered in late l970. After several court appearances and court actions, an injunction was issued in l976 to remove all material from the site. However, operations continued, and in November l978, State personnel observed drums being sorted at the site. A court order was issued in October l979 prohibiting all further disposal of hazardous wastes on the site. Between June l980 and June l982, EPA, first under Section 3ll of the Clean Water Act and later under CERCLA, installed a system to temporarily pump and recirculate contaminated ground water, thus preventing it from reaching Lyle Reed Brook, preventing further contamination of the aquifer, and controlling air pollution by volatile chemicals. The total cost was $925,000.  More...

    Sources of Contamination:
    • Dumping - unauthorized
    • Landfill
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  • Threats and Contaminants
    Approximately 900,000 gallons of hazardous wastes were discharged on site in 1979, contaminating the soil and groundwater. The soil and groundwater were contaminated with HEAVY METALS and VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS (VOCS). Lyle Reed Brook also was contaminated with VOCS and metals. The main health threat associated with the site was drinking or coming into direct contact with contaminants in the groundwater and surface water. Groundwater was not used, since all residents were connected to a separate municipal water supply. Contaminants may have leached into the bedrock aquifer; however, capping the site has greatly reduced the likelihood of continued contamination of the surface water.

    Contaminants Detected

    Air Soil Other
    TOLUENE X   

    Groundwater and Drinking Water

    Were drinking water wells shut down due to contamination? Yes
    Population served by the wells now shut down: 25 - 100
    Are drinking water wells potentially threatened? No
    Aquifer discharges into: Surface water
    Population served by water wells in the aquifer: 0
    List ground water uses.
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  • Pre-Cleanup Rankings
    EPA Hazard Ranking System scores for SYLVESTER:

    Less Hazard National Average More Hazard
    0%         50%         100%

    Overall site:
    Surface water migration:
    Ground water migration:
    Air migration:

    Rank Superfund sites in the U.S., NEW HAMPSHIRE, or in HILLSBOROUGH County by EPA Hazard Ranking Scores.

    *Note: EPA's Hazard Ranking System is designed to screen and prioritize sites for the Superfund program, based on limited data available at time of listing. These scores are not based on a comprehensive risk assessment of the site and do not reflect conditions after initiation of cleanup work.
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  • Site Information
    Site Name: SYLVESTER
    EPA ID: NHD099363541
    Address: GILSON RD
    NASHUA, NH 03062
    Site Ownership: Private
    Category of Site: Industrial Waste Treatment
    Date of Final Listing on the NPL: September 08, 1983
    List Standard Industrial Classifications (SIC) associated with current and past activities at the SYLVESTER Superfund site.
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  • Potentially Responsible Party (PRP) Involvement
    Number of PRPs currently associated with this site: 227
    Hazardous waste received from off-site generators/transporters? Yes
    Number of past and present PRPs who contributed less than 1% of the waste: 501 - 1000
    Number of owners/operators which are also municipalities: 0

    List Potentially Responsible Parties identified by U.S. EPA as associated with the SYLVESTER Superfund site.
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