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New Hampshire Site Added to EPA Superfund List; Massachusetts Site Proposed for Inclusion

Release Date: 09/14/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: Sheryl Rosner (, EPA Office of Public Affairs, (617) 918-1865

For Immediate Release: September 14, 2005; Release # sr050902

The National Priorities List, known commonly as Superfund, represents hazardous waste sites throughout the country that are in most need of long-term clean up due to risk concerns for human health and the environment. Superfund makes public funds available to clean up toxic waste sites when private financing is unavailable.

With the addition of the seven sites added nationally, there are now 1,245 final sites on the NPL, including 101 sites in New England. With the five newly-proposed sites nationally, 62 proposed sites await final listing on the NPL – four of which are in New England.

Berlin, N.H. Site Added to NPL
The former Chlor-Alkali Facility is located on the east bank of the Androscoggin River, just downstream of the Sawmill Dam in Berlin. From the late 1800s to the 1960s, the facility produced chlorine and other chemicals using electrolytic cells in “cell houses” on the property. Most of the on-site structures were razed and buried on-site in the 1960’s. The last cell house was demolished in 1999, at which time most of the property was capped.

Residual wastes from the historical manufacturing processes have been detected in ground water and soils on-site, and site investigations reveal that despite earlier actions to address the source of contamination, mercury continues to seep into the Androscoggin River from cracks in the bedrock at the edge of the site. Mercury has also been found in the sediments of the adjacent Androscoggin River through sampling conducted by former site owners and the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.

Between 1999 and 2004 six removal efforts resulted in the removal of at least 135 pounds of mercury and mercury-containing sediments from the river and its bank. The recovered mercury and mercury-contaminated sediment was shipped off-site for disposal/recycling.

Wilmington, Mass. Site Proposed for Inclusion
The Olin Chemical facility, a 53-acre property in Wilmington, was used for chemical manufacturing beginning in 1953 by a series of companies, which were ultimately purchased by Olin Chemical in 1980. Olin produced chemical blowing agents, stabilizers, antioxidants and other specialty chemical products for the rubber and plastics industry. The facility closed in 1986.

Wastewater disposal practices were historically a major source of environmental contamination related to this facility. Principal contaminants of concern include ammonia, chloride, sodium, sulfate, chromium and NDMA (N-nitrosodimethylamine). Groundwater contamination associated with releases from the site has forced closure of four municipal water supply wells serving more than 7,000 people.

Extensive work has already been completed by Olin Corp. to control and contain wastes onsite.

Proposal of the Olin Chemical facility to the NPL opens a 60-day comment period regarding the proposed listing. Detailed information on the proposed listing is available at:

Note that comments must be submitted in writing to:

Docket Coordinator, CERCLA Docket Office
Mailcode 5201 G
Ariel Rios Building, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20460
Attn: Olin Chemical / Wilmington MA

Copies of the listing documents are available for public review at the following locations:

For information on both facilities:
EPA Records Center
1 Congress St., Suite 1100
Boston MA 02114
Hours: M - F 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.

For information on the Chor-Alkali Facility (former):

N.H. Dept. of Environmental Services
6 Hazen Dr, P.O. Box 95
Concord NH 03302
Hours: M - F 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Schedule an appointment with Ariel Parent at (603) 271-2919

For information on the Olin Chemical facility:
MA Dept. of Environmental Protection Northeast Region File Review Center
c/o Dept. of Transitional Assistance
Shetland Park, 35 Congress Street
Salem, MA 01970
Schedule an appointment by calling (978) 740-0809 or Fax (978) 740-0808

More information on Superfund clean up activity in New England is available at:

Related Information:
Current NPL Updates: New Proposed and New Final NPL Sites