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NH Hazardous Waste Site Added to Superfund’s National Priorities List; Windham, Maine Site Proposed

Release Date: 12/11/2013
Contact Information: David Deegan, 617-918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – Dec. 11, 2013) – Today EPA is adding one New Hampshire hazardous waste site posing a risk to people’s health and the environment to the National Priorities List (NPL) of Superfund sites. EPA is also proposing to add one Maine site to the list. Superfund is the federal program that investigates and cleans up the most complex, uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country to protect people’s health and the environment.

Under today’s action, the former Collins & Aikman Plant in Farmington, N.H., has been added to the NPL, and EPA has formally proposed to add the Keddy Mill Site in Windham, Maine to the list.

“EPA continues to protect public health and the environment in communities where old industrial facilities have left a contaminated footprint behind,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “We will begin a comprehensive study and cleanup of the former Collins & Aikman Site in Farmington. We will also continue a public process with the community of Windham to determine whether the newly proposed Keddy Mill Site should be added to the Superfund list.”

The former Collins & Aikman Plant is a 123-acre partially-developed parcel in Farmington, N.H. which was the location of the Davidson Rubber Co., Inc. since the mid-1960’s. Ownership of the property changed several times until 2001 when it was purchased by Collins & Aikman Interiors, Inc., which filed for bankruptcy in 2005 and ceased operations in 2006. The property was then transferred to the New Hampshire Custodial Trust. Site investigations have revealed ground water contamination from tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and other contributing contaminants. The contaminated ground water plume may pose a threat to nearby private or public drinking water wells and wetlands, and one municipal water supply well has been taken out of service. The State of New Hampshire referred the site to EPA for NPL listing because, following the bankruptcy closure of the facility in 2006, insufficient resources were available to support a full investigation and cleanup of the site.

EPA also took action today to formally propose adding the Keddy Mill Site in Windham, Maine to the NPL. Many industrial activities have been conducted on the Keddy Mill property between the 1750’s and 1997, including a sawmill, grist and wool carding mill, wood pulp and boxboard manufacturing, steel manufacturing and fabrication of heavy equipment buckets, manufacturing of fire suppression piping and materials, a small machine shop and equipment storage. Several buildings on the property have been demolished, and the property currently consists of a single derelict multistoried concrete building. The property has been vacant since 1997 and is known to be contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), the law establishing the Superfund program, requires EPA to update the NPL at least annually and clean up hazardous waste sites to protect human health with the goal of returning them to communities for productive use. A site’s listing neither imposes a financial obligation on EPA nor assigns liability to any party. Updates to the NPL do, however, provide policymakers with a list of high priority sites, serving to identify the size and nature of the nation’s cleanup challenges.

The Superfund program has provided important benefits for people and the environment since Congress established the program in 1980.Those benefits are both direct and indirect, and include reduction of threats to human health and ecological systems in the vicinity of Superfund sites, improvement of the economic conditions and quality of life in communities affected by hazardous waste sites, prevention of future releases of hazardous substances, and advances in science and technology.

More information:

- Former Collins & Aikman Plant in Farmington, N.H.

- Keddy Mill Site in Windham, Maine

- Superfund cleanups in New England

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