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Housatonic River Superfund Characterization Assessment and Restoration

Ecosystem restoration to clean up and restore more than 150 miles of the Housatonic River

  • Pittsfield area, Massachusetts

    Pittsfield area, Massachusetts

We provided support for what is characterized as one of the largest restoration sites in the United States

The Housatonic River Superfund project has been characterized as one of the most far-reaching cleanup plans of its kind. When the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) required the cleanup of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from the Housatonic River and adjacent areas in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, we were called on to support.   

For more than 20 years, Stantec was part of a team that conducted scoping studies to characterize 150 miles of the Housatonic River and provide technical environmental and engineering support to the USEPA. The PCBs at this site are persistent and resistant to biodegradation, so natural degradation can take hundreds of years. The cleanup of PCBs and other hazardous substances has progressed under an October 2000 Consent Decree. Cleanup was required for twenty contaminated areas outside the River, five groundwater management areas, and three river segments. Our team performed ecological characterizations, assessed ecological impacts, conducted environmental compliance monitoring, and designed restoration measures for the initial 2-mile study area and the 150-mile rest of river section.

Our participation in the cleanup efforts allowed for the restoration of 2 miles downriver from the former contamination source. Additional downstream areas will be cleaned in the next 1-2 decades. 

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