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EPA to Address Oil Contamination near Mousam River, Sanford, Maine

Release Date: 04/28/2009
Contact Information: Jeanethe Falvey, (617) 918-1020

(Boston, Mass. April 28, 2009) This May, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to address an on-going release of oil that has been affecting the Mousam River. The release was originally discovered in 2006 by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (ME DEP), and is flowing from two storm drains near the intersection of High Street and Spruce Street in Sanford, ME.

Site investigations have concluded that the oil is most likely coming from the former Goodall Mills facility, which was located on properties now occupied by the Stenton Mills, the York County Community Action (YCCA), and Spruce Street. The former Goodall Mill was founded in 1889 and operated until the late 1990s. The facility included a 550,000-gallon underground storage tank and an associated eight-inch underground oil pipe. While the underground tank and pipe were closed in 1995, during their use, oil leaked from the pipe and saturated the surrounding soil. This oil is believed to be migrating into the storm drains, from which it is flowing to the Mousam River.

In the fall of 2006, ME DEP constructed temporary underflow dams at both outfalls and collected oil on a monthly basis to minimize the amount entering the river. Since then, heavy rains have compromised the dams and they have required recent repair and replacement.

EPA has been working with ME DEP and the Town of Sanford over the past winter to develop a response plan. Along the south end of Spruce Street, there is approximately 300 feet of existing PVC storm pipe which EPA plans to line with resin cured in-place that will resist infiltration of oil. Since the contamination is located approximately 17 feet below ground, the street is busy, and contains utilities, no excavation will occur along Spruce Street.

The planned action for the parking area behind the YCCA will consist of excavation and disposal of the impacted soil around the existing clay tile storm pipe. This pipe will also be replaced with a new pipe that is resistant to oil infiltration. The areas that undergo excavation will be backfilled with clean soil.

The cost of this cleanup effort is estimated to be $1.6 million and is expected to be completed within five months from the start date.

For more information on EPA’s Removal Program and other short term cleanups going on in New England, please visit:

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