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Cleanup to Begin at Photech Site in Williamstown, Mass.

Release Date: 08/02/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: David Deegan (, EPA Office of Public Affairs, (617) 918-1017

For Immediate Release: August 2, 2005; Release # dd050801

(Boston) - Cleanup action will begin this week in Williamstown's Photech site. The EPA cleanup is expected to cost $878,000, addressing an abandoned four-story mill complex which is contaminated with asbestos.

The facility is in an advanced state of disrepair, with the center portion of the mill building having collapsed. The site is located at 330 Cole Avenue in Williamstown.

Originally built in the mid-1800's, the mill was used for various purposes. Most recently, it was the site of Photech, Inc. which manufactured photographic film and paper until 1990, when the site was abandoned.

EPA contractors will secure the property and post signs reminding the public not to trespass onto the site. EPA contractors will then carefully complete the demolition of the asbestos-containing center portion of the mill building, ensuring that the asbestos-contaminated materials are not released into the environment. In addition, the northern section of the original building, which is in a state of advanced deterioration and presents a risk to trespassers, will be removed. EPA will leave intact the southern section of the mill complex which was built in 1944.

The demolition debris will be wetted down to minimize fugitive dust, and EPA will monitor the air during the removal activities to protect surrounding residents. Once removed, the contaminated materials will be transported off-site for disposal at a licensed facility. In addition, any other hazardous materials discovered during the demolition activity will be addressed. The project is expected to take two months to complete.

In 1997, EPA oversaw the removal of hazardous materials from inside the building, including 118 tons of sludge and lab materials, 500 drums, and 40 cubic yards of asbestos. In 2002, the town of Williamstown oversaw the removal of additional asbestos contaminated materials from the northern and southern sections of the mill complex. In addition, the town removed metals-contaminated soils from the property, stabilized the riverbank, and took measures to restrict access to the building.

More information is available at : .

Related Information:
Photech Site Profile