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Prior to 1995, a Lockheed Martin heritage company produced and tested electronics on a 158-acre site at what is now 1 Network Drive in Burlington, MA.
- In the late 1970s, low levels of solvents were found in the standby water supply well of a nearby municipality.
- The site was investigated and several sources of environmental impact were identified. Very low levels of chlorinated volatile organic compounds (solvents) were found in a groundwater plume located in the northwest portion of the site.
- A number of cleanup actions were undertaken beginning in the early 1980s to ensure human health and safety and protect the environment.
Lockheed Martin acquired the heritage company in 1995. Since then, all known sources of contamination have been removed.
- Over 7,200 tons of soil, piping, concrete, contaminated sediments, debris and scrap metal, storage tanks and 18,000 gallons of sludge were removed from 1997-1998.
- From 1999-2000, a fuel oil spill in the soil and groundwater below and near the Baxter House, an old farmhouse on the site, was cleaned up using a biological treatment.
- In 2002, sediments contaminated with metals—primarily chromium, nickel, lead and zinc— were removed from the Central Brook area and disposed at a licensed facility. The metals are believed to have come from the heritage company’s photo lab.
- The site was sold to Sun Microsystems in 1997. Sun developed the site as a corporate office park. Lockheed Martin retains responsibility for the cleanup.
- Because the levels of the solvents in the groundwater plume were so low, in 1998 Lockheed Martin proposed, and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) agreed, that the groundwater at the site should be allowed to clean itself naturally, through the process of natural attenuation. No further active remediation was considered necessary.
PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT PLAN SITE
- In 1998, responding to community concerns, the state of Massachusetts designated the site as a Public Involvement Plan (PIP) site under the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP).
- Working with the community and Sun Microsystems, Lockheed Martin developed and presented comprehensive cleanup and community outreach plans.
- All interested parties had the opportunity to provide input. At a public meeting in 2003, documents were presented describing the cleanup of the different parts of the site and the Central Brook area.
- The report for the groundwater plume noted that the contaminant levels in the plume are declining and that when they diminish to the point where they meet drinking water standards, Lockheed Martin will submit a Permanent Solution, which will document that the site has met all cleanup requirements under the Massachusetts Contingency Plan .
- At that time, an update will be provided to the Board of Health and the community to describe the results of the groundwater-monitoring program.
The initial expectation in 2003 was that it could take 35 years for the groundwater to meet drinking water standards.
- A monitoring program was put in place to track the progress of natural attenuation.
- Monitoring in later years revealed that the natural processes were proving more effective than anticipated. As a result, the site’s groundwater could meet drinking water standards faster than originally projected, perhaps as soon as 2020.
- In 2014, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection expanded its regulations for protecting inhabitants of buildings from the intrusion of contaminated vapors.
- The new regulations require evaluation of and protection from vapor intrusion (as needed) for buildings near groundwater plumes.
- In 2013, while the regulations were being drafted, a new building was constructed on Greenleaf Way in the Network Drive development.
- As a precaution, Lockheed Martin and the new building owner installed a barrier beneath the building to block the potential for movement of any chemical vapors into the building.
- An additional monitoring well was installed nearby to ensure compliance with the new Massachusetts standards for vapor intrusion.
- Additionally, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection published a new standard for the chlorinated solvent 1,4-dioxane. Due to this new standard and subsequent guidance, 1,4-dioxane is now a contaminant of interest, based on concentrations detected in groundwater during the November 2014 and November 2015 sampling events.
- This chemical will be further evaluated through sampling to determine how well it’s dissipating. Groundwater in the vicinity of the plume and all the buildings continues to be sampled to ensure that it’s dissipating and complying with the new standards.
If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact:
Late 1970s - Low levels of solvents were found in the standby water supply well of a nearby municipality
Early 1980's -RCA undertook a number of remedial actions
Prior to 1995 - Lockheed Martin operated a 158-acre facility
1997 -The site was sold to Sun Microsystems
1997 and 1998 - 7,266 tons of soil, piping, concrete, sediments, debris and scrap metal, storage tanks and 18,000 gallons of sludge were removed.
1998 - Lockheed Martin proposed, and the MDEP agreed, that the groundwater at the site should be allowed to clean itself naturally, through natural attenuation
1998 - Massachusetts designated the site as a Public Involvement Plan (PIP) site
1999-2000 - A fuel oil spill in the soil and groundwater below and near the Baxter House, was cleaned up.
2002 - Sediments were removed from the Central Brook area and disposed at a licensed facility.
June 2000 - Lockheed Martin's public involvement activities won a Silver Anvil award from the Public Relations Society of America
March 2003 - Phase IV Final Inspection Report and Completion Statement was completed
March 2003 - Partial Response Outcome Statement was completed
March 2003 - Phase V Monitoring Report and Remedy Operations Status Statement was completed
2003 - At a public meeting documents describing the cleanup of the different parts of the site and the Central Brook area were presented
2013 - A new building was constructed on Greenleaf Way in the Network Drive development.
2014 - MDEP expanded its regulations for protecting inhabitants of buildings from the invasion of contaminated vapors.
2020 - The site’s groundwater may meet drinking water standards much sooner than originally projected