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Release Date: 12/22/2000
Contact Information: Alice Kaufman, EPA Community Affairs Office, (617) 918-1064

BOSTON - Demolition of the former Fletcher's Paint Works building located on Elm Street in Milford, New Hampshire will begin on Wednesday, December 27, 2000, EPA New England announced today.

"The building demolition project is moving along quickly, and the structure will be completely gone early in the new year," said Mindy S. Lubber, EPA New England regional administrator. "Milford citizens have been waiting for this day to come. With several schools nearby, we are taking every precaution to safeguard the young students who pass the building on their way to school each day."

The warehouse portion of the building will be demolished first, followed by demolition of the front brick and concrete portions of the building. After the roof and walls of the building are taken down, the concrete floorings will be removed and disposed of. Removal of the two underground storage tanks located in front of the building will follow the building demolition and a permeable liner and gravel will be placed as a temporary cover over the exposed soils and the site will be secured with fencing.

Earlier this month, EPA, NH DES, the Army Corps of Engineers relocated a pedestrian cross walk near the site, placed jersey barriers and fencing around the building, removed all asbestos containing materials and other hazardous materials from the building, and sampled the floors and walls for contamination before final disposal.

In order to maintain the structural integrity of the abutting cemetery wall, large granite blocks, which were part of the original building foundation on the site, will be left in place after the demolition work is completed. Clean fill will be placed in front of the granite blocks to provide a graded contour and additional support.

The overall cleanup plan, outlined in the 1998 Record of Decision for the site, will also include the excavation and treatment of PCB contaminated soils at both the Fletcher Elm and Mill Street locations, excavation and disposal of VOC contaminated soils, removal of several large underground storage tanks at the Elm Street property, and construction of an asphalt cap to keep water from moving through contaminated soil and contributing to the groundwater problem. In addition, contaminated groundwater will be monitored until cleanup levels are met in the future.

The Fletcher's Paint Site was placed on the EPA's National Priorities List in 1989, making it eligible for federal funding to address PCB contamination at the site. So far, previous actions taken at the site include the removal of 893 drums and placement of a temporary cover over highly contaminated soils the demolition and disposal of the former storage shed and its contents. In addition, in 1995 EPA ordered General Electric to excavate and dispose of PCB contaminated soils located on residential properties across from the Mill Street Site. In 1997, GE voluntarily removed PCB contaminated soils from in front of the Elm Street cemetery. During a tour of the former facility in late summer, EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers determined that because of numerous cracks in the walls, the potential presence of asbestos material, combined with flat roofs, no heat and obvious leaks, there was a high potential for the dilapidated building to collapse.

The site is the former location of the Fletcher's Paint Works which manufactured and sold water-based latex paints and organic chemical-based solvent paints from 1949 to 1991. The Fletcher's Paint Storage area on Mill Street, consisted of a wooden storage building that housed pigments used to produce paints.