Texas Instruments to pay feds $15 million for
BY RICK FOSTER SUN CHRONICLE STAFF | Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 1:25 am
Texas Instruments has agreed to reimburse the federal government $15 million as part of a consent
decree covering costs of removing radioactive contamination from the former Shpack landfill on the
According to the agreement, the Dallas-based company will pay the Army Corps of Engineers within 15
days. Texas Instruments did not acknowledge any liability as part of the settlement.
At least $70 million has been spent on the years-long cleanup, according to papers filed in connection
with the lawsuit.
Texas Instruments could not be reached Tuesday for a statement regarding the settlement.
The consent decree was filed Nov. 8 in U.S. District Court in Boston.
Texas Instruments, which merged with Metals and Controls in 1959, worked with radioactive materials at its Attleboro plant from 1959 to 1981, according to the complaint filed by the Justice Department.
The suit claimed that the company arranged for disposal of radioactive Uranium-234, -235 and -238 at
the Shpack site stemming from nuclear fuel operations at the Attleboro plant, in part from contracts with
the former U.S. Atomic Energy Commission and other, commercial, entities.
Radium-226 used in making items such as thermostats and circuit breakers also was found, according to the document.
The Schpack landfill, which was used by businesses as well as residents, was found by the Nuclear
Regulatory Commission in the 1970s to be contaminated with radiation, according to the Justice
Court documents also said a survey found electrical components, a sign identified as coming from Texas Instruments and ashes from uranium-containing zirconium chips dumped by the company.
In 2009, according to the complaint, Texas Instruments and 10 other potentially responsible parties
signed a consent degree to address chemical contamination at the site.
The Army Corps of Engineers spent several years removing radioactive materials from the site.
It began the operation in 2005 and completed digging in July 2011.
The excavation included more than 50,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil, and more than 35,000 cubic yards of radioactive soil was shipped to a storage site in Clive, Utah.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is now undertaking removal of chemical contaminants from
the site. Well inspection and surveys of the parcel are expected to begin next month.
Excavation of the chemical contaminants are expected to begin in the spring, and could be completed in 2014.
The 9.4-acre Shpack site straddles the Norton-Attleboro line, with six acres in Norton and 3.4 acres in
The Norton side of the site operated as a landfill from 1946 to 1975. The Attleboro side operated from
1946 to 1965.