Case: Charles George
Site history: The landfill began operating as a small
municipal dump in the late 1950s and expanded to accept industrial waste in
Location: Tyngsborough, Massachusetts on Flint Pond, a
tributary to the Merrimack River.
Case status: Restoration Planning.
Overview: The Charles-George Landfill Site in Tyngsborough,
Massachusetts is an inactive 69-acre landfill that began receiving household
waste in the late 1950s and expanded to receive municipal, commercial, and
industrial wastes from 1967 until 1983. Two brooks south of the Site,
Dunstable and Bridge Meadow, carried contamination from runoff, leachate,
and intercepted groundwater into Flint Pond and associated wetlands. A stream
draining Flint Pond discharges to the Merrimack River, which provides important
spawning habitat for a number of species of anadromous fish. Past activities at
the landfill have resulted in injury to the stream and 14.5 acres of wetlands.
The benthic community in Flint Pond marsh has been altered, and fishes and eels
from the wetland were found to contain elevated levels of trace metals,
including mercury and arsenic. Although dams currently prevent anadromous fish
from the Merrimack River from entering Flint Pond, future injury to natural
resources downstream of the pond is possible from dam failure, removal, or
overtopping during a catastrophic flood. A major state and federal restoration
program for anadromous fish is underway in the Merrimack River. These efforts
have expanded access for species such as Atlantic salmon and American shad to
areas of the river near the site.