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Clean-up Work Continues After InterRoyal Fire in Plainfield Conn.

Release Date: 05/16/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: Sheryl Rosner, EPA Office of Public Affairs, (617) 918-1865,
Contact: Linda J. Colangelo, Northeast District Dept. of Health, (860) 774-7350

For Immediate Release: Monday, May 16, 2005; Release # sr050503

BOSTON - The Environmental Protection Agency has completed debris clean-up of approximately 681 residential properties after the enormous April 26th InterRoyal Mill fire left the abandoned mill in Plainfield, Conn. in ruins, with fire debris spread over a five-mile by one-half mile area north of the site.

EPA and the Conn. Department of Environmental Protection are beginning demolition work today of the fire-damaged portion of remaining walls at the mill. The demolition will allow safe entry of sampling crews to assess possible contaminant hazards within the building footprint. The demolition work is expected to take approximately two weeks.

EPA has set up six air quality monitoring stations to measure any increase in dust resulting from the demolition work, and will address any air quality concerns detected by the monitors. EPA has coordinated with demolition contractors and fire personnel to wet down demolition areas to help reduce dust.

“We are pleased to see that the clean-up progress after this historic fire has gone as quickly and smoothly as anyone could hope for after such an unfortunate event,” said EPA Regional Administrator Robert W. Varney. “We commend the hard work of federal, state and local personnel and their contractors who have come together after this fire to ensure the health and safety of nearby residents – it is an impressive display in team-work and open communication.”

EPA has committed $750,000 in emergency response and clean-up costs resulting from the fire. The Northeast District Department of Health will continue to partner with the EPA to keep residents informed of air quality and follow-up debris removal procedures.

“Environmental crews have done a remarkable job in cleaning such a large debris field,” said Linda J. Colangelo, Public Information Officer for NDDH. “Wind still continues to be a factor in transporting debris to areas that have been previously cleaned. While a crew will still be available to respond to call backs to properties, the public needs to know how to remove small debris samples that they may find.”

The Connecticut Department of Public Health advises residents to take the following precautions when handling fire debris:

    • Wear gloves and wet the material with a fine mist before handling
    • Place the debris in a plastic bag, seal it and dispose of it in your regular trash
    • DO NOT bring any debris indoors
Further questions about debris clean-up may be left for the EPA by calling the Plainfield Town Hall at 860-230-3001.
Learn more about the fire by visiting the InterRoyal Mill in Plainfield OSC Web site (

Related Information:
InterRoyal Mill Fact Sheet
Cleanup Process
Cleanup in New England
InterRoyal Fire
Cleanup Photos
EPA Press Release: EPA Staff are Involved in the Ongoing Response Taking Place in Plainfield, CT.
Local Press Releases, Update and Fact Sheet PDF
Desk Statement: InterRoyal