US, Rhode Island Get $40M Toward Pollution Clean-Up

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (CN) – Nearly 100 entities facing liability for pollution at a Rhode Island Superfund site reached a $40 million settlement with federal and state authorities.

The area at issue is known as Operable Unit Two of the Peterson-Puritan Superfund Site in Cumberland and Lincoln, R.I.

From approximately 1954 to the late 1980s, activities in the area led to the disposal of assorted hazardous wastes and hazardous substances.

“More than 2.1 million cubic yards of waste were disposed of at the site, resulting in contamination of the soil, groundwater, surface water, and sediments,” according to a statement from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which listed the site on its National Priorities List in 1983.

The area contains parcels within the Blackstone River floodplain including the J.M. Mills Landfill, the former Nunes transfer station and an unnamed island, all of which contain waste material.

Joseph and Linda Marszalkowski owned and operated these parcels as a single landfill through their business, J.M. Mills.

On Friday, the state and U.S. Justice Department lodged a settlement with a federal judge in Providence to resolve “federal and state liability claims against nearly 100 potentially responsible parties for the cleanup of the site.”

“Under the settlement, 22 of the settling defendants will be responsible for implementation of the remedy selected by EPA in 2015,” according to a statement.


Oversight costs incurred by the EPA and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Protection will also be covered. The remaining settling parties must pay into a trust that will help pay for the cleanup.

“The selected remedy includes excavation and consolidation of contaminated soils and sediments, construction of a multi-layered impermeable cap, institutional controls and long term monitoring,” according to the statement. “The total cost for the selected remedy is estimated to be $40.3 million.”

Rhode Island just opened a national park in the Blackstone River Valley.

The settling defendants responsible for performing the cleanup include: ACS Industries, Alcoa, Avnet, CVS Pharmacy, Philips Electronics, Sears Roebuck & Co., Supervalu Holdings, Texas Instruments, The Narragansett Electric Co.; The Stop & Shop Supermarket, Waste Management of Massachusetts, Waste Management Disposal Services of Massachusetts, Waste Management of Rhode Island, and Wyman-Gordon Co.

The consent decree was filed along with separate complaints by Rhode Island and the United States. It is subject to a 30-day public comment period and approval by the federal court.