New Bedford Harbor NPL Site

State TrusteeState of Massachusetts
Federal TrusteeDepartment of Commerce
AO Bureau

Also Known As


Incident Type




Case Status



New Bedford Harbor, Long Island Sound


Contaminants of Concern Include

Affected DOI Resources Include

Anadromous Fish, Threatened and Endangered Species, Migratory Birds

Case Description

The 18,000-acre New Bedford site is an urban tidal estuary with sediments that are highly contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and heavy metals. From the 1940s until EPA’s PCB ban in the 1970s, facilities associated with the production of electrical devices discharged industrial wastes containing PCBs directly and indirectly into the harbor. As a result, PCBs contaminate the harbor in varying degrees for at least six miles, from the upper Acushnet River into Buzzards Bay. A five-acre northern portion of the Acushnet River Estuary contaminated with high levels of PCBs (the "hot spot" area) was dredged in 1994 and 1995. Bioaccumulation of PCBs within the marine food chain has resulted in closing the entire site area to lobstering and fishing, and recreational activities and harbor development have been limited by the widespread-PCB problem.

Salt marsh in outer New Bedford Harbor, Credit: Terrill, NOAA, 1995

Page 1 of 1
 Document TypeDocument NameDocument Date


 Factsheet Fact Sheet 10/01/2005
 Factsheet Project Updates October 2015 10/27/2015


 MOA/MOU Trustees Agreement 07/16/1991


 Restoration Plan Restoration Plan and EIS 05/22/1998
 Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment Restoration Plan Round Two (2001) 01/08/2001
 Restoration Monitoring Report Restoration Update-2004 11/01/2004


 Consent Decree Consent Decree (Aerovox) 07/17/1991
 Consent Decree Consent Decree (AVX) 02/03/1991
 Consent Decree Consent Decree (Federal Pacific) 11/24/1992

No publications have been entered for this case.

Map View

Case Contact

New England Ecological Services Field Office

Concord, NH | (603) 223-2541 |

Case Trustees

AO Bureau
Federal TrusteeDepartment of Commerce
State TrusteeState of Massachusetts

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