In a milestone for the PCB cleanup in New Bedford Harbor, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency transferred the project’s dewatering facility to the city of New Bedford on Thursday.
The EPA used the facility to remove water from contaminated sediment. The sediment was trucked off site, and the water treated and released.
Now, the five-acre property on New Bedford’s working waterfront is ripe for redevelopment. The EPA invested $30 million in the property, including construction of an industrial-grade dock.
EPA Regional Administrator Dennis Deziel said he was glad to mark this moment, which comes after the agency finished sub-tidal dredging in 2020.
“We're proud of the work,” he said. “More to do, of course, but still quite an accomplishment.”
The EPA has done all the dredging it plans to do below the tide line. More cleanup remains to be done in intertidal areas.
The harbor is contaminated with heavy metals and polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, from historical manufacturing of electrical capacitors.
More than a million cubic yards of sediment have been removed.