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EPA Begins Cleanup In Henniker, N.H.

Release Date: 08/29/2003
Contact Information: Andrew Spejewski, EPA Press Office, 617-918-1014

BOSTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today it is beginning a cleanup across the street from the former location of the Contoocook Valley Paper Company (CVPC) mill on Western Avenue in Henniker, New Hampshire. The cleanup, to remove heavy-metal contaminated soil, is expected to be completed by late fall.

On September 8, 2003, at 7 p.m., EPA On-Scene Coordinator Dan Wainberg will attend an open Mill Restoration Committee Meeting to discuss the details of EPA's removal action. The meeting will be held at the Henniker Grange hall located at 7 Western Avenue.

The "Eastern Parcel Site" was referred to EPA by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, which from 1999 through 2002 conducted a Brownfields assessment of several parcels in the area. In May and June of 2003, EPA found surface and subsurface soils contaminated with heavy metals including lead, cadmium, barium and chromium on the eastern side of Western Avenue, across from the former mill. The heavy metal contamination is the result of sludge burial by CVPC when the mill was in operation.

EPA removal actions will include: securing the site and posting signs to alert the public to the presence of hazardous substances on the property; sampling soil to define the contamination; and excavating and transporting, for proper off-site disposal, any contaminated soils that pose a threat to public health or the environment.

Residents should be aware that cleanup workers may be wearing white coveralls according to state and federal protection requirements. Although these protective suits attract attention, residents should not be alarmed as this in no way means that there is any danger to the area surrounding the site.