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EPA and DEP to Host Public Meeting on Holtrachem Site

Release Date: 03/26/2001
Contact Information: Mark Merchant, EPA Press Office, 617-918-1013 Lucy Edmondson, EPA Regional Administrator's Office, 617-918-1004 Deborah Garrett, Maine DEP Press Office, 207-287-7830

BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection are holding an informational meeting about cleanup issues for the HoltraChem manufacturing plant on April 12, 6:30 p.m. at the Center Drive School, 17 School St., in Orrington.

The Holtrachem manufacturing company opened in 1967 and manufactured chlorine, caustic soda, and chlorine bleach used by paper mills, as well as hydrochloric acid and the pesticide chloropicrin. The plant closed down in September 2000.

An investigation of the HoltraChem plant determined that mercury, chloropicrin, carbon tetrachloride, and chloroform were several of the contaminants onsite. In addition mercury contaminated brine sludge was buried on site in five hazardous waste landfills. The most frequently spilled chemical at the site was mercury containing brine, a hazardous waste when spilled. Contamination from the site has entered the Penobscot River and mercury contamination is in the sediment adjacent to the site.

EPA and Maine DEP are working to determine cleanup goals for the HoltraChem plant and the river. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss both the contamination and preliminary plans to clean it up. Representatives from EPA, DEP and the Mallinckrodt Corporation will be on hand for this discussion.

The information session runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. There will be a presentation from all the parties at 7:15 p.m. Individuals from the organizations will be available to answer questions from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

A second meeting will be held later this spring to solicit public response and comment to the cleanup plan.