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Shpack Landfill

Gail Balser and her battle with Texas Instruments

Shpack Landfill in Norton, Massachusetts

The site was former a privately owned 8 acre domestic and industrial land fill, now owned by town of Norton, MA and the Attleboro Landfill, Inc. The Shpack Landfill is located on an 9-acre parcel along the Norton-Attleboro line, about 7 acres of which is in the town of Norton and 2 acres in the city of Attleboro. The Shpack Landfill directly borders the 55 acre Attleboro Landfill facility. The Shpack Landfill accepted industrial and domestic waste from 1946 to 1965, which included inorganic and organic chemicals, as well as radioactive waste.

The government began investigating the site in 1978, after a resident detected elevated levels of radioactivity. The government’s investigation identified that the groundwater contains volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including vinyl chloride and trichloroethylene (TCE), as well as heavy metals including chromium, barium, copper, nickel, manganese, arsenic, cadmium, and lead. Sediments on the edge of the swamp and soils contain radionuclides including radium and uranium. Surface water in the swampy area is contaminated with radium and alpha and beta particles, as well as organic compounds. The site is fenced to limit access.

The Site was designated for remedial action in 1981 and the Site was listed on the National Priorities List (NPL) on June 10, 1986. The Army Corps of Engineers was in charge of the cleanup of the radiological waste found on the site. The radioactive waste at the landfill is believed to have come from Metals and Controls Inc., which is now Texas Instruments, and the local jewelry industry.

In 2012, Texas Instruments agreed to reimburse the federal government $15 million as part of a consent order stemming from the cleanup of the former Shpack landfill on the Norton-Attleboro line. Texas Instruments, which admitted no liability as part of the settlement, was accused by the federal government of having arranged for disposal of radioactive Uranium-234, -235 and -238 at the Shpack site from nuclear fuel operations at the Attleboro plant.