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Giving life to a former Superfund site

Mott MacDonald applied a team approach to the remediation of a former GM plant that covered 855,000 square feet.


The Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response Trust (RACER Trust) is the largest environmental trust in US history. It was created in the wake of the General Motors bankruptcy to clean up and position for redevelopment 89 former GM sites in 14 states. The Massena GM Powertrain facility in upstate New York is a 218-acre (88-hectare) site in active remediation.


As the RACER Trust Cleanup Manager for New York sites, Mott MacDonald was responsible for the overall management of the site remediation. This included managing a budget of $120 million for remedial actions including demolishing a facility measuring 855,000 square feet (79,422 square meters), disposing of PCB-impacted steel in a Toxic Substances Control Act landfill, removing floor slabs, and remediating impacted subsoil.

A sub-slab tunnel system was removed, PCB-impacted soil removed at depths of up to 40 feet (12 meters), and several lagoons containing from 350,000 to 10 million gallons (1,325 to 37,854 cubic meters) of liquid and sludge were removed. A total of 500,000 tons of PCB-impacted material was removed from the site. Key to the Record of Decision was moving a 12-acre (4.8-hectare) landfill and consolidating it under a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act cap.


Mott MacDonald fostered a team approach with multiple regulatory agencies, contractors, and public stakeholders to develop and implement a cost-effective remediation approach that had minimal community impact.

The carbon footprint of the remediation project was reduced by using rail rather than trucks to ship demolition materials and contaminated soil. Mott MacDonald recycled 73% of the building material left after demolition.

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