A Civil Action - The Woburn Toxic Trial > Learning Modules > Post-Trial Remediation

Module 13: Superfund Remediation Activities

Module Goal

  • Review the remediation efforts implemented at Wells G & H and other areas surrounding the site following the trial.
  • Learn how some of the trial testimony assisted US EPA in their efforts to characterize the site.
  • Understand the current status of the Superfund's in the vicinity of the Woburn area.

Student Assignment


Since the Woburn trial has been considerable activity toward the remediation of the site. Wells G and H were designated as a Superfund site in 1983. The widespread publicity relating to the Woburn trial generated public attention to observe and understand the newly developed US EPA Superfund process. With strong criticism of the Superfund process in recent years, many have followed the Woburn site to track the agencies' progress since the discovery of the problem through remediation.

Wells G and H are put on the NPL

Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA)also known as Superfund was enacted in 1980. EPA first investigated groundwater contamination at Wells G and H in 1981, Woburn was one of the first high-priority sites identified by the brand-new US EPA program. By 1982 the site was proposed for inclusion on the National Priorities List (NPL), and in 1983 was listed as high-priority site requiring immediate attention and investigation by the agency. By 1989 US EPA had completed its investigation of the area around Wells G and H (also see Woburns Industri-Plex) and released its record of decision (ROD).

Overview of ongoing remediation at Woburn

A summary of the remedial activities that were undertaken at the site are included in the Bair and Metheny, 2002 (Acrobat (PDF) 4.2MB Jun18 09) article. This article also includes an estimate of the mass of solvents removed by the various remedial technologies as well as some indication of the efficiency of the remedial systems.

Student Assignment

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