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Community Meeting to be Held for Eastland Woolen Mill Superfund Site

Release Date: 05/05/2010
Contact Information: Paula Ballentine, 617-918-1027

(Boston, Mass. – May 5, 2010) The Environmental Protection Agency and Maine Department of Environmental Protection will be available at 7 pm on Tuesday, May 18 at the Corinna School on Stetson Rd., to provide an update of site activities at Eastland Woolen Mill and to discuss the required Five Year Review of the cleanup. As part of the five-year review process, EPA encourages anyone with a question or concern regarding the cleanup to attend the meeting to provide input to EPA.

Beginning in 2004 and continuing through 2008, the cleanup has involved the periodic injection of an oxidizing reagent into the groundwater to destroy the contamination. From 2008 through 2010, EPA has been evaluating the success of these injections to determine whether more injections are needed to restore the groundwater to drinking water standards. The data collected and evaluated so far shows that the injections have substantially reduced the amount of contamination below the surface. Along with the reduction of contamination in the soil, there has also been a significant decrease in the amount and extent of contamination in the groundwater.

In addition to the groundwater cleanup, EPA will also be working with state and local officials to put in place land use restrictions. The restrictions will ensure that the contaminated water is never used for drinking water.

Along with the ongoing cleanup activities, EPA also periodically evaluates cleanup sites to make sure that the cleanup continues to protect human health and the environment. The evaluation is required by the Superfund Law and is called a A Five-Year Review.” The five-year review has six components: Community involvement and notification; document review; data review and analysis to determine if more monitoring is needed; a site inspection, which will be done this spring; interviews with local officials and residents to better understand local concerns and protectiveness determination to be sure the cleanup remains protective of human heath and the environment

After these activities are completed EPA will issue a Five Year Review Report summarizing the findings. The Maine DEP will participate in the Five Year Review, which should be completed by the end of September.

More information about the Eastland Woolen Mill Superfund Site can be found at the EPA New England website at:

• Eastland Woolen Mill operated as a wool and blended wool textile facility from 1909 to 1996;
• Liquid wastes from the mill were discharged to the East Branch of the Sebasticook River until the late 1960s, when the local sewage treatment plant was built;
• Groundwater contamination was discovered in 1983. Carbon filters were installed on five water supplies. By 1988, 10 water supplies were fitted with carbon filters;
• A water line was installed in 1995 to provide water for properties with contaminated wells;
• Eastland Woolen Mill company performed an investigation from 1984 – 1995 to assess the contamination;
• Eastland Woolen Mill Company ceased operations in 1996;
• Maine DEP removed 54,673 pounds of various hazardous substances from the closed Mill in 1997;
• EPA began the investigation of the Eastland Woolen Mill in December 1998;
• EPA placed the Eastland Woolen Mill on the National Priorities List (Superfund list) in July 1999;
• EPA signed an Action Memorandum to initiate an early cleanup action in July 1999;
• EPA signed OU I Cleanup Decision in September 2002;
• EPA completed Mill demolition, soil excavation and treatment program in 2003;
• EPA signed a No Further Action decision for Operable Unit II (downstream portions of East Branch of Sebasticook River) in September 2004;
• EPA performed in-situ application of reagents to remove contamination from groundwater beginning in 2004;
• EPA completed the design for Operable Unit 1 Remedial Action in 2005;
• OU I Remedial Action began in September 2005 with installation of water a line connection;
• Second round of in-situ application of reagents was performed in 2005;
• EPA amended the cleanup plan in September 2006 to eliminate the requirement for a long-term groundwater extraction and treatment system;
• Cleanup was determined to be construction complete in September 2006;
• Third round of in-situ application of reagents was performed in 2006, the fourth round in 2007;
• Remedial Action was determined to be completed in September 2008 and the site cleanup program transitioned to the Long-Term Response Action. The year 2008 began the 10-year period for EPA to continue the cleanup. After the 10 years (in 2018), the State of Maine will be responsible for any additional cleanup actions as part of the operations and maintenance of the site;
• Soil and groundwater investigations to evaluate effectiveness of in-situ applications occurred in 2009; and
• The Five Year Review
in 2010

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Note: Edited on 01/18/2011 to fix broken link