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From 1970 to 1989, GE Aerospace, a Lockheed Martin heritage company, operated its Aerospace Instruments Control Systems Department
- The site is in a 13‑acre industrial park at 50 Fordham Road in Wilmington, Mass. and spans the towns of Wilmington and North Reading.
- Fordham Road runs along the west side of the property; industrial tenants abut the south of the property; and the north and east sides of the property are bordered by wooded wetlands.
- In 1989, GE Aerospace sold the property to Wilmington Realty Trust, which leased the property to companies such as Ametek Aerospace.
- While Lockheed Martin no longer owns the property, it retains responsibility for environmental cleanup associated with the former GE Aerospace business.
- In November 1999, private citizens petitioned the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to have the four sites so named in accordance with Massachusetts Law.
- Regular communication with the community was continued while the site underwent active remediation.
Contamination at the site first came to the attention of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MDEP) in early 1986
The Department was investigating sources of contaminants in the Stickney Well, a public water well located 500-feet east of the site. Over time, four areas of concern were identified at the Fordham Road site:
- Underground storage tank farm located close to Building 1, which included a chlorinated solvent groundwater plume;
- Eastern Parking Lot area, which included Stoddard solvent (a mineral spirit),
- Chlorinated solvent-impacted soil; Outfalls 1 and 2 in the wetlands, which included elevated levels of metals;
- Area near underground storage Tank K, which contained elevated levels of chemicals associated with petroleum products.
Consequently, in October 1987 the MDEP classified the property as a “priority disposal site.”
Site cleanup began before the MDEP designation.
- Two underground storage tanks were removed in 1986, and six more were removed the following June.
- One additional tank was removed in 1991, and the pipeline to the last remaining underground storage tank, Tank E, was repaired that same year.
- In February 1992, GE began collecting and treating groundwater in the tank farm area, discharging the treated effluent to the wetlands via Outfall 1.
- Also in early 1992, GE began removing the Stoddard solvent via a recovery trench located in the Eastern Parking Lot; the solvent-impacted soil was also removed and properly disposed.
- Monitoring of the groundwater near the parking lot continues.
- A soil-vapor extraction system was installed in the Tank K area in November 2000 to remove petroleum hydrocarbon compounds.
- Wetlands near Outfalls 1 and 2 were cleaned up and restored in 2004. Vegetation regrowth in the restored area was monitored for five years to assure that the cleanup was effective.
The Tank Farm pump-and-treat system operated until early 2002, when it was shut down.
- It was replaced in August 2003 by a second pump-and-treat system at the property line and augmented by injections of a specialized iron solution that degrades the chlorinated solvents.
- The pump-and-treat system was shut down temporarily in 2008 and remains shut down pending assessment of groundwater conditions.
- Finally, in mid-2011, Building 3 and the oil house at the site were demolished and underlying solvent-impacted soil was removed and transported off-site for disposal. Rubble from the demolition was appropriately recycled.
- In 2000, Lockheed Martin contracted with an environmental consulting firm to assume authority for the cleanup of the Fordham Road site. Lockheed Martin resumed direct responsibility in late summer 2011.
- As part of its due diligence in this transition, Lockheed Martin is reassessing cleanup activities at the site and anticipates that this investigation will take until mid-2015.
The geology of the site and surrounding region is complex, reflecting ancient glacial activity.
- The Fordham Road site is one of four designated as Public Involvement Plan (PIP) sites, in the Wilmington, Reading and North Reading area.
- The additional data being collected from the supplemental site assessment will make it possible for Lockheed Martin to update and improve its understanding of the level of risk associated with contaminants at the site and reevaluate potential remedial actions.
- Recent groundwater sampling will be followed by additional comprehensive sampling in the spring of 2015. Results of these investigations will be presented in a Supplemental Phase II Report.
- Based on this additional data, Lockheed Martin will develop a new Remedial Action Plan and approach that will make it possible to officially close the site.
- A voluntary Activity and Use Limitation will be submitted to the MDEP and recorded for the property.
- In 2013 Lockheed Martin proposed to the MDEP and the nearby community that it use recently developed techniques to further evaluate if and how the contaminants at the Fordham Road site are migrating into the adjacent wetlands.
MDEP renewed Lockheed Martin’s permit to perform the work in 2014
- Lockheed Martin’s contractors installed additional monitoring wells in a number of locations on site and in the wetlands east of the site in North Reading.
- These wells were drilled into both shallow and deep soil and underlying bedrock.
- Additional wells were also installed on-site within Building 1 to further evaluate the source of contaminants beneath the building, and in the Eastern Parking Lot to better understand the horizontal and vertical flow of contaminants.
- Drilling in off-site wetlands required multiple permits and coordination with the Army Corps of Engineers, the MDEP,
and the North Reading Conservation Commission.
- Well installation required use of specially designed plastic mats to create a boardwalk for drilling equipment to reach the drilling spots, which minimized the adverse effect of the equipment on the wetlands.
- Following completion of well installation the boardwalk and all other equipment, materials and wastes were removed, the access road was re-graded and the soil stabilized to control erosion.
- A well was also drilled to the bedrock at a third location
along Concord Street to evaluate groundwater between the
wetlands and the Ipswich River.
- During installation of some of these wells, soil and rock
samples were analyzed for contaminants, and boreholes
were analyzed to better understand how contaminants
might migrate through the complex fractures in the
- Using this information, Lockheed Martin installed specially designed flexible liners for installation within each borehole to obtain groundwater samples at multiple depths.
- All wells were sealed at the surface and their locations
documented by survey. Groundwater from the newly installed wells has been sampled for the primary contaminants of concern.
- Samples taken from surface water in locations adjacent to selected wells and from the Ipswich River have also been analyzed.
- Restoration will be completed in the spring of 2015.
SUPPLEMENTAL SITE ASSESSMENT
The additional data being collected from the supplemental
site assessment will make it possible for Lockheed Martin
to update and improve its understanding of the level
of risk associated with contaminants at the site and reevaluate
potential remedial actions.
- The MDEP approved Lockheed Martin’s request for more time to complete its characterization of the extent of contamination at the site; the extension was granted to May 3, 2017.
1970 to 1989 - GE Aerospace operated its Aerospace Instruments Control Systems Department
1986 -Contamination at the site first came to the attention of the MDEP
1986 - Two underground storage tanks were removed and six more were removed the following June.
October 1987 - MDEP classified the property as a “priority disposal site.”
1989 - GE Aerospace sold the property to Wilmington Realty Trust
1991 - One additional tank was removed
February 1992 - GE began collecting and treating groundwater in the tank farm area
1992 - GE began removing the Stoddard solvent
November 1999 - Private citizens petitioned the MDEP to have the four sites so named in accordance with Massachusetts Law.
2000 - A soil-vapor extraction system was installed in the Tank K area
2000 - Lockheed Martin contracted with an environmental consulting firm to assume authority for the cleanup of the Fordham Road site.
2002 - The Tank Farm pump-and-treat system was shut down
August 2003 - A second pump-and-treat system was placed at the property line
2004 - Wetlands near Outfalls 1 and 2 were cleaned up and restored
2011 - Building 3 and the oil house at the site were demolished
2011 - Lockheed Martin resumed direct responsibility
2013 - Lockheed Martin proposed that it use recently developed techniques to further evaluate the site
November 1, 2013 - Supplemental Phase II Scope of Work is released.
2014 - MDEP renewed Lockheed Martin’s permit to perform the work and installed additional monitoring wells
Spring of 2015 - Additional comprehensive sampling was conducted
July 13, 2015 - Notice of Activity and Use Limitations is released
August 26, 2015 - Addendum to the November 1, 2013 Supplemental Phase II Scope of Work is released.
2015 - Restoration work completed
July 1, 2016 -Groundwater Flow Study Work Plan is released
If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact:
Mékell Mikell, Corporate Communications