A Brief History of Nyanza

What is Nyanza

Vintage Ad listing of the Nyanza Company chemical, circa 1950's 

Vintage Ad listing of the Nyanza Company chemical, circa 1950's 

Nyanza is a Superfund Site in the middle of Ashland Massachusetts, it was listed as one of the first ten sites upon the founding of the EPA’s Superfund Program in the early 1980’s.  The Superfund site is named after the now defunct Nyanza Chemical and Dye Company, a dye manufacturer, which operated on the land from 1965 until its closing in 1978. Chemicals released from the Nyanza Color Plant into Ashland's groundwater were the direct cause of a cluster of rare, deadly cancers in several of Ashland's youth. Kevin Kane was one of  them.  When Kevin was diagnosed with cancer, he knew the adjacency of ball fields to the Nyanza Chemical plant was the cause. He spent the last months of his life advocating for local and state officials to study the site and it's relationship the cluster of cancers in Ashland. 


Brief History

The Nyanza Chemical Waste Dump site is a 35-acre parcel of land located adjacent to an active industrial complex. From 1917 to 1978, the site was used to produce textile dyes, intermediates, and other products. Large volumes of industrial wastewater containing high levels of acids and numerous organic and inorganic chemicals, including mercury, were generated by the companies that produced chemical dyes on this lot. Some of the wastes were partially treated and discharged into the Sudbury River through a small stream, referred to as Chemical Brook.

Since 1987, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has addressed remediation through initial cleanup actions and four long-term remedial phases focusing on source control and cleanup of the soil, off-site groundwater, wetlands and drainage-ways, and the Sudbury River.



Helpful Links:


EPA - Environmental Protection Agency  


The Nyanza Chemical Waste Dump Site ("Nyanza Site")


Natural Resource Damages (NRD) Trustee Council is responsible for planning, implementing, and overseeing the restoration


Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for the Nyanza Chemical Waste Dump Superfund Site


Nyanza Chemical Waste Dump Score Card