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NPL Site Narrative for Eastern Surplus

EASTERN SURPLUS
Meddybemps, Maine

Federal Register Notice:  June 17, 1996 (PDF) (23 pp, 335K, About PDF)

Conditions at Proposal (October 1995): The Eastern Surplus site covers approximately 3 acres near the center of Meddybemps, Washington County, Maine. The site is bordered by Meddybemps Lake to the north, the Dennys River to the east, Route 191 to the south, and Stone Road to the west. Beginning in 1946 until the early 1980s this property was the location of the Eastern Surplus Company, a retailer of army surplus and salvage items. Property use before 1946 is unknown.

Eastern Surplus was originally inspected in October 1985 by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (MEDEP). During this inspection, MEDEP personnel noted chemical odors, leaking electrical transformers, hundreds of deteriorating drums and containers, compressed gas cylinders, 16,000 pounds of calcium carbide, and numerous areas of stained soil. MEDEP immediately initiated emergency cleanup and removal measures and erected a fence to secure the property. Source sampling, arranged by MEDEP and EPA between November 1985 and August 1990, identified over 50 different hazardous substances on the property, including PCBs, chlorinated organic compounds (solvents), heavy metals, acids, paints, oils, asbestos, and pesticides. Soil, ground water, and sediment samples collected by EPA between 1987 and 1988 have shown that many of these contaminants were released into the environment.

Two other EPA Superfund sites are located in Meddybemps. The Smith Junkyard site is approximately 2 miles from Eastern Surplus on Route 191. The Smith site's surface water migration pathway, however, flows into the Dennys River over 3 miles downstream from the Eastern Surplus site and the sample locations showing contaminants. The Green Hill Quarry site has only PCBs and chlorinated solvents as hazardous substances.

Contamination from Eastern Surplus threatens the adjacent Meddybemps Lake and the Dennys River. Both of these surface water bodies maintain active fisheries and spawning areas, a National Wildlife Refuge, and habitat for the federally designated threatened bald eagle. Additionally, drinking water supplies for an estimated 200 people who use private drinking water wells located within a 4-mile radius of the property are threatened by contamination from this site.

Status (June 1996): EPA is considering various alternatives for the site.

For more information about the hazardous substances identified in this narrative summary, including general information regarding the effects of exposure to these substances on human health, please see the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ToxFAQs. ATSDR ToxFAQs can be found on the Internet at ATSDR - ToxFAQs (http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/index.asp) or by telephone at 1-888-42-ATSDR or 1-888-422-8737.

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