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EPA to Begin Clean up at Old Pillsbury Mill Site

Release Date: 05/11/04
Contact Information: Contact: Alice Kaufman, EPA Community Involvement Office, (617) 918-1064

For Immediate Release: May 11, 2004; Release # 04-05-06

Boston - EPA will begin a cleanup this week at the Old Pillsbury Mill Site in Tilton, New Hampshire. EPA estimates the total cost of cleanup to be $348,000. Once the clean up is complete later this summer, the town can move forward with its plans to turn the vacant property into a community park.

“We’re pleased to be part of turning this long abandoned site mill into a community park for the town,” said Robert W. Varney, EPA New England regional administrator. “When old sites are reused, we are preserving open space elsewhere in the community.”

As part of the cleanup efforts, EPA will:

    • secure the site to prevent unauthorized access. This may include posting signs and / or installing a temporary fence;
    • conduct additional soil sampling to determine the extent of the contaminated soil;
    • excavate and consolidate contaminated soil;
    • transport contaminated soil off-site for disposal at a permitted facility; and,
    • backfill the excavated area with clean soil from other portions of the site.
During the excavation activities, work crews will be dressed in protective clothing including white tyvek coveralls, hard hats, and possibly respirators. Throughout the cleanup, EPA staff will conduct area air monitoring and take precautions to limit dust.

For nearly a century, leather tanning and cloth, woolens, and shoe production took place on the two-acre site. The building was vacated in 1985. In a 1995 tax foreclosure, the town of Tilton acquired the property, including the abandoned mill building.

Previous investigations of the area by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and EPA determined that contaminants, mainly lead and barium, are present in the soil. Available data indicates that when the former mill building was demolished and burned in 1999, the fire created lead and barium contaminated ash, which mixed and contaminated on-site soils. EPA has reached an agreement in principle with the town of Tilton and the Fire District to help pay for the cleanup.

Related Information:
Brownfields Program in
New England