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Tewksbury seeks road for Superfund site

March 12, 2009
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Tewksbury's town manager is asking residents to sign a petition posted on the town's website telling the federal Environmental Protection Agency that they want a spur road built for trucks hauling waste from a local Superfund site.

"The residents need to step up and address this issue right now," Town Manager David Cressman said this week. "If it's not addressed within the next three to four weeks, then the opportunity to address it down the road when [the cleanup is] actually occurring is going to diminish greatly."

Cressman said that, without the special road, the 11,000 to 16,000 estimated truck trips needed to clean up the waste dump, once called an "underground Chernobyl," could end up on South Street and other small local roads.

Town officials want the EPA and the Federal Highway Administration to build the spur off Interstate 93 especially for trucks traveling to and from the former Rocco's Dump, now called the Sutton Brook Superfund Site. But the EPA needs residents to second the motion, Cressman said.

He said signatures must be collected now because the EPA is poised to sign a consent decree in the next couple months specifying who will pay for the cleanup and how much. Within that decision should be some mention of the spur road, he said, which could be built as part of the construction of a new interchange on Interstate 93.

Cressman said the EPA is expected to start the cleanup within three years, about the same time as when the state is expected to construct the interchange.

Connie Paige

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