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Gloucester Harbor is shown with boats and a crane in the background
Much of the Gloucester Harbor dredging area is shown above (NOAA)

Pollution Settlement Finalized for Gloucester Harbor, Massachusetts

September 5, 2023

On August 24, 2023, a $5.38 million settlement was finalized to restore natural resources impacted by contaminants discharged along the Gloucester, Massachusetts waterfront. The pollution came from a manufactured gas plant that operated along the Gloucester waterfront between 1854 and 1952. Manufactured gas plants often yielded by-products of the gas production process such as tars, sludges, and oils. These pollutants posed risks to fish, wildlife and sediment-dwelling species that depend upon this area for habitat.

The final consent decree provides a Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) restoration settlement value of $5,380,000, including $5,300,000 for restoration projects and $68,000 to reimburse the trustees for the remaining portion of past damage assessment costs.

The trustees will work with the public to identify and select potential restoration projects. A restoration plan will be drafted and released for public comment in the coming months.


Eric Hutchins, Restoration Coordinator
NOAA Restoration Center
Phone: 978-281-9313

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Gloucester harbor dredging area with a crane in the background