w.r. grace & co., inc. (acton plant)


The W. R. Grace (Acton Plant) Superfund site is located in the towns of Acton and Concord, Massachusetts and is accessible via Independence Road. The W.R. Grace property is comprised of approximately 260 acres of land that includes several surface water bodies and various wetlands. The Site is bounded to the north in part by Fort Pond Brook and to the east and south by the Assabet River. Residential properties border the Grace site to the northeast, northwest, east and west and several Industrial properties border the site to the south and northeast. Industrial parks and a gravel pit border the site to the south. The site had been the former location of the American Cyanamid Company and the Dewey & Almy Chemical Company. These companies produced sealant products for rubber containers, latex products, plasticizers, resins, and other products. W. R. Grace purchased the properties and operations from American Cyanamid and Dewey & Almy in 1954. The Grace operations at the W. R. Grace facility included the production of materials used to make concrete, container sealing compounds, latex products and paper and plastic battery separators. Effluent wastes from the manufacturing process were disposed of into several unlined lagoons (the Primary Lagoon, Secondary Lagoon, North Lagoon, and Emergency Lagoon), and solid and hazardous wastes were buried in or placed onto an on-site industrial landfill and several other disposal areas. These other waste sites included the Battery Separator Lagoons, the Battery Separator Chip Pile, the Boiler Lagoon, and the Tank Car Area. In addition, the by-products of some chemical processes were also disposed of in the Blowdown Pit. All discharges to the unlined pits were ceased by W.R Grace in 1980. Since 1973, residents in South Acton have filed complaints about periodic odors and irritants in the air around the W. R. Grace plant. Sampling of public supply Wells Assabet l & 2 by the Town of Acton in 1978 indicated that these two municipal wells contained detectable concentrations of 1,1-dichloroethene or vinylidine chloride (1,1 DCE or VDC). As a result of these findings, the Town of Acton took the precautionary measure of temporarily closing the two wells. As part of an agreement and settlement between W.R. Grace and the Town of Acton, The Acton Water District (AWD), installed and continues to operate and maintain air stripper units which remove any volatile organic compounds that may be present in groundwater pumped from Assabet 1, Assabet 2, Scribner, Lawsbrook and Christofferson public drinking water supply wells. Prior to distributing potable water to the public, the AWD routinely treats and samples the water they provide to their users to ensure that all safe drinking water quality standards are met.

Hazardous Ranking Score

59 / 100

A score of 28.5 or higher qualifies a site for the Superfund National Priority List.

Regional Contact

Region 1
Phone: (888) 372-7341
Fax: (617) 918-0101

Outside New England:
(617) 918-1111

Contact Region



Site Inspection
Preliminary Assessment
Final Listing On NPL

Contaminants & Health Effects

      Endocrine Disrupter
      Reproductive Toxin
      Persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic


        African American
        American Indian and Alaska Native
        Native Hawaiian


        People living
        within a 1 mile radius


        Average Income


        Occupied homes

        Potentially Responsible Parties

        Similar Sites

        Add Story


        No stories have been submitted for this site.