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Leeds Metal Site in Maine Added to National Superfund List

Release Date: 09/18/2012
Contact Information: Contact: EPA Public Affairs, (617) 918-1010

(Boston, Mass. – September 18, 2012) – The United State Environmental Protection Agency has finalized the addition of the Leeds Metal Site, in Leeds Maine to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). The Leeds Metal Site is one of 12 sites added to the NPL today. The site has received letters of concurrence from state officials supporting the NPL listing.

The NPL is a national list of sites that require further investigation and potential cleanup in order to protect human health and the environment in the long term.

“Taking action today to add the Leeds Metal site to the national Superfund list is an important first-step toward helping the community address contamination issues found there. Superfund has been very effective cleaning contaminated lands across the country, ensuring cleaner and healthier communities,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office.

“We are very pleased with the listing decision and believe it will result in significant environmental improvement, which ultimately will allow for redevelopment of the site benefiting the community and the entire area,” said Patricia Aho, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

Operations at the Leeds Metal site date back to the mid-to late 1800s, however little is known about specific site activities prior to 1969. Between 1969-1984 scrap metal recovery processes took place, performed by a series of site operators. Junk automobiles were shredded onsite, where non-recyclable material, known as auto fluff, was stockpiled. Gasoline and other fluids from junk cars were dumped directly onto the ground, and as many as 100 drums were staged along the tree line in the southern part of the site. The Leeds Fire Department has responded to numerous fires at the site. The site is currently inactive and unoccupied, and appears to have remained abandoned since operations ceased in 1984.

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (MDEP) has removed drummed waste and an abandoned transformer; sampled soil; sampled nearby private drinking water wells to identify possible off-site migration of wastes; overseen a series of investigations to assess the site and groundwater in the area; and installed carbon filtration devices at five homes with volatile organic compound contamination exceeding state health benchmarks. EPA completed removal and remedial investigations in 2011 that documented the need for response actions to address imminent hazards posed by the uncontrolled site wastes.

For all NPL sites, EPA works to identify companies or people responsible for the contamination and to require them to conduct or pay for the investigation and cleanup. For newly listed sites without viable potentially responsible parties, EPA will investigate the full extent of the contamination before starting significant cleanup at the site.

More information is available on sites added to the NPL today, and to sites proposed for addition to the NPL by EPA:

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