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Stretch of Neponset River Declared Superfund Site

The Neponset River flows for 29 miles from Foxborough to Boson Harbor.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated a 3.7-mile stretch of the Neponset River— from Mother Brook in Hyde Park to the Walter Baker Dam in Dorchester, MA—a Superfund site.

Like many New England rivers, the 29-mile Neponset was befouled by industrial mills and plants that dumped contaminants, including PCBs, directly into the river. The new Superfund designation will bring federal money and scientific expertise to the cleanup effort, as well as legal support to fine companies that were responsible for the pollution. The cleanup will begin with water sampling in fall 2022, and could take decades to complete.

“The superfund designation will bring the expertise, resources and legal authority to bear on the longstanding problem of PCB contaminated sediments on the Neponset,” said Ian Cooke, Executive Director of the Neponset River Watershed Association. “It’s the only remaining option to secure the cleanup that the river needs to regain its health. We are very excited that the process is getting underway and we’ll be pushing to make the process relatively quick, measured in years rather than the usual decades.
“That said, the river and the Neponset Greenway are still beautiful resources for nature and recreation. So long as you’re not eating the fish or getting into the soft brown mud at the bottom of the river, it’s still a great place for a walk, a bike ride, or a paddle.”

The Neponset River begins in Foxborough, MA, and flows through Walpole, Sharon, Norwood, Canton, Stoughton, Westwood, Dedham, Milton, Boston, and Quincy before emptying into Boston Harbor.

Read more about the Neponset River Superfund designation in the Boston Globe.

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