A Civil Action - The Woburn Toxic Trial > Instructor Materials > Module 13 - Remediation > Post-trial/Remediation Activity Page

Post-trial/Remediation Activity Page

Kevin Svitana, Otterbein College
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Since the Woburn trial occurred, significant remediation has been implemented at the site. This module provides a brief overview of the remedial activities that occurred in the Aberjona River Valley, as well as a status of the current quality of groundwater in the vicinity of the former city wells.

Learning Goals

The goal of this module is to link the students understanding of the pretrial data used in earlier modules to much of the data interpretation and technology that has resulted since the trial. This compare and contrast approach shows how much progress remediation technology and the understanding of groundwater impacts has advanced since the conclusion of the Woburn toxic trial in the early 1990s.

Context for Use

This is the final module that could be utilized for either a mock trial approach or a "geology only" teaching format. The intent is for this module to summarize what has been discussed and show with a state-of-the-art since the Woburn toxic trial. Much of the technology we take for granted today was in its infancy at the time the trial occurred.

Description and Teaching Materials

Providing students with information regarding remediation technology, and subsequent articles related to the remediation of Woburn would be effective material for this module. An overview is provided in the 2002 paper written by Bair and Metheny.

Teaching Notes and Tips

Since remediation technology is a course in itself, at best a summary of technologies that apply to the Woburn setting (removal of chlorinated solvents and dissolved phase inorganic metals) should be the focus of discussions. The idea is to provide the students with a sense of how much effort has continued to expand at the Woburn site since the trial activities. Part of the teaching theme should state that although the court case did not convince a jury of Beatrice and Graces guilt for the groundwater contamination, the corporations have been heavily involved with remediation of the area since the 1990s.


Discussion of the outcome is probably an effective form of assessment for this module. If there is sufficient time following the mock trial, a graded assessment regarding the efficiencies and methods of remediation can be developed and provided to the students.

References and Resources

Refer to Remediation of Wells G & H Superfund Site, Woburn, Massachusetts, Bair and Metheny, 2002, Ground Water, Vol 40, No. 6., pp 657-668.

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