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Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England

Surrette American Battery

Northfield, New Hampshire

Facility Before Demolition
building ravaged by fire
building ravaged by fire
Restoration Phase of Cleanup
site graded and seeded
site graded and seeded

In October 2000, EPA joined state and town officials to celebrate the completed cleanup of the former Surrette American Battery site in Northfield, NH. EPA invested $2.6 million in cleaning up the 7.5-acre property, which housed a textile mill in the 19th century. The mill was used more recently for manufacturing lead-acid batteries before closing in 1994. In 1995, EPA removed and disposed of drums, containers, the contents of a storage tank, lead-contaminated roofing materials and lead contaminated soil. More than 2,000 gallons of hazardous wastes and 1,000 tons of lead-contaminated soils were removed. In 1998, a catastrophic fire destroyed the remaining mill's main building. EPA was again on site to clean up asbestos and debris that had blown from the site into the towns of Northfield and Tilton. The most recent cleanup work, done in the past year, involved removing 6,442 tons of hazardous solid waste contaminated with lead, transformers containing PCB oils, three underground oil storage tanks, a sulfuric acid storage tank and a propane tank. EPA also removed the main silo at the facility that contained lead oxides. In the course of cleanup, nearly 400 air samples and 4,206 soil samples were collected to determine the extent of contamination. EPA found debris and soil that was highly contaminated with lead and asbestos. During the cleanup, EPA cleared and recycled more than 100 tons of steel and 2,000 tires and shipped 32 transformers contaminated with PCBs for disposal. All buildings on the property have now been demolished, paving the way for the redevelopment of the site. The town has applied for a federal grant to conduct a feasibility study to see if the site can support an assisted living housing facility.

"We are very appreciative of the cooperation among the many groups involved with this cleanup at the local, state and federal levels," said DES Commissioner Varney. "The considerable financial and personnel commitment from EPA on this project assisted DES, along with officials from both the town and the state health agency, in tackling this major cleanup. Not only has this effort removed a public health and environmental threat, but it will now lead toward a successful redevelopment of a site that will economically contribute to the community." Also, after a visit to the site in June 2000, Senator Bob Smith worked to ensure that funding was available for EPA to meet the target cleanup date.

"The success of this project can be attributed to the partnership of the town of Northfield, DES, DHHS, and the EPA working together closely with the goal of protecting the health and welfare of the communities of Northfield and Tilton," added Joyce May Fulweiler, Northfield Town Administrator.

EPA Contact: Paul Groulx (groulx.paul@epa.gov)
Cleanup Completed as of October, 2000

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