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Former Superfund Site in Corinna, Maine Restored & Returned to Productive Community Use

Release Date: 02/28/2006
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. - Feb. 28, 2006) - A Maine site that has undergone a $50 million EPA clean up has been restored to productive use in Corinna as a affordable housing facility for senior citizens.

Community leaders and residents of Corinna, Maine today celebrated the opening of the Corundel Commons Senior Housing Project, along with officials from the U.S. EPA, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Penquis C.A.P., Inc., Penquis Development, Inc., and other state and local officials.

The new facility, which will provide affordable housing to senior citizens in the Corinna area, sits on the back portion of the Eastland Woolen Mill Superfund Site. The site has undergone an extensive clean-up effort to address contamination of soils, sediments and groundwater.

"Superfund is now reaching beyond cleanup toward reuse," said Robert Varney, regional administrator of EPA's New England Office. "By cleaning up and reusing once-contaminated sites, we can breathe new life into properties and turn a liability into a community asset. Redevelopment of Superfund sites benefits everyone."

The 20-unit senior housing facility, Corundel Commons, was constructed by Penquis Community Action Program and Penquis Development, Inc. on the back portion of the former Superfund site. The former Odd Fellows Building, that was relocated as part of the cleanup, was renovated and is now a country store and restaurant.

"The State of Maine is pleased with the quick cleanup of the Eastland Woolen Mill Superfund Site that has resulted in the availability of site property for reuse and redevelopment with projects like the Corundel Commons Senior Housing facility," remarked Mark Hyland, Acting Director of the Bureau of Remediation and Waste Management in Maine's Department of Environmental Protection.

The Town of Corinna has also completed work to make additional areas of the Eastland Woolen Mill Superfund site available for reuse. A subdivision plan has been finalized to create an opportunity for a village-style development while providing ample green space and river access to the public.

"In the aftermath of the Eastland Woolen Mill closure and the resulting environmental cleanup, the Town of Corinna was the beneficiary of assistance provided by the EPA," said Dalton Mullis, Corinna Town Manager. "The EPA made every effort to work with the Town in the planning and implementation stages of both the cleanup and redevelopment of Corinna. The opening of the Corundel Commons housing facility is a prime example of what can be accomplished when agencies share the same goals. Our citizens will be forever grateful to the EPA staff that gave their all to put our Town and our lives together again."

"We are especially grateful to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for their superlative clean-up efforts. Without their time, effort, and willing cooperation, Corundel Commons would not be a reality today," said Stephen Mooers, Director of Penquis Development, Inc.

Eastland Woolen Mill was a textile mill that began operation in approximately 1909, and which ceased operation in 1996. The majority of the mill property is now owned by the Town of Corinna. Much of the site was contaminated with chlorobenzenes, which were a major component of the dye-aid used in the dye kettles to add color to the wool. Sampling conducted by EPA and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection confirmed chlorobenzene contamination in the soil, groundwater, surface water, and sediment. This was then the subject of a multi-year EPA and state clean-up action, for which EPA invested approximately $50 million. Groundwater contamination was also a concern and continues to be the subject of ongoing remediation work and monitoring.

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