Microfab Site Information

Site History


The Microfab, Inc. (former) site is located at 104-106 Haverhill Rd. in Amesbury. Industrial operations were conducted between 1950 and 1987, and included metal parts manufacturing, printed circuit board production, electroplating, and other associated metal finishing. During this time, the property was used for waste disposal, including hazardous substances.

Microfab,Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection in 1987 while still owing the city of Amesbury roughly $800,000 in back taxes and abandoned the building soon after.

In 2016, Amesbury City Council passed a resolution supporting the cleanup of the former Microfab Inc. site at 104 Haverhill Road (Bill 2016-033). The 14-acre site, formerly owned by Microfab Inc. was used to manufacture printed circuit boards from 1967 – 1984. At that time, the site was declared a hazardous waste disposals site by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Investigations have taken place to determine the owner of the property, and none has been found. The site is not currently owned by anyone and has made the legal process of cleanup difficult. 

Old Microfab Inc. Aerial ShotMassDEP conducted a study estimating that it would cost between $1.5 million and $3.5 million to clean the site. The site is fenced off and is currently maintained by DEP to prevent access and exposure to the contamination. MassDEP has spent over $2 million on site assessment and remediation activities, including the installation of a groundwater recovery and treatment system that operated until 2012.

In August 2017, the former Microfab site was placed on the EPA’s Superfund program list, which investigates and cleans up some of the most complex, uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in order to make the land usable again.

The EPA and Nobis Engineering re-visited the site in July 2021 to investigate next steps in the cleanup. They found evidence of trespassing on the site, and worked to add No Trespassing signs as well as educational signage about the dangers of the site. We ask everyone to stay off the property while mitigation is happening, as it is a hazardous waste site and could negatively impact people’s health and safety if they are on the property without proper approvals.

On February 17, 2022, EPA and MassDEP held a virtual meeting with City of Amesbury officials and representatives to provide a site status update, discuss future community involvement assistance, and address questions and concerns.

As of today, the site remains empty and abandoned. 

EPA Website

The EPA  has established a website specific to this superfund site. https://cumulis.epa.gov/supercpad/cursites/csitinfo.cfm?id=0100442

The site details current information that pertains to :

  • Cleanup activities 
  • Contamination risks
  • Ways to stay informed
  • Redevelopment support
  • Site documents & data

What's Next for the EPA?

  1. The EPA is currently finishing up work on a remedial investigation (RI) report, which will describe the nature and extent of contamination at the Site, human health and ecological risks associated with the Site, and a detailed description of investigative work conducted. Once they have a final draft of the RI report, (estimated in early 2024), they will release the report to the public and look into setting up a public meeting to further discuss the findings.    
  2. EPA is also working on a feasibility study (FS) to evaluate potential Site clean-up alternatives, options, clean-up levels, etc.  After the FS is completed, EPA will select a proposed remedy or remedies for the Site, and prepare a Proposed Plan to document this information.  The Proposed Plan will be open for public comment (typically for a 30–45-day time period). The current target date for a Proposed Plan is Summer 2024.

Public Participation Opportunities

EPA is working on a Community Involvement Plan (CIP) for the site. A CIP is a site-specific strategy to enable meaningful community involvement throughout the Superfund cleanup process.  The CIP reflects community needs, concerns, and expectations that are identified through community interviews and other means. The CIP is both a document and the culmination of a planning process.
 
Part of the process is conducting community interviews. If you would like to be interviewed for the CIP please reach out to EPA’s Community Involvement Coordinator, Ashlin Brooks, at brooks.ashlin@epa.gov.


EPA Contacts

Community Involvement Coordinator
Ashlin Brooks
(617) 918-1073

Remedial Project Manager
Lisa Thuot
(617) 918-1129