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EPA Orders General Electric to Clean Milford, NH Superfund Site

Release Date: 07/20/2001
Contact Information: Peyton Fleming, Press Office (617) 918-1008 Cheryl Sprague, EPA Project Manager, 617-918-1244

BOSTON -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week ordered the General Electric Co. to clean up soil and groundwater contamination at the Fletcher's Paint Works Superfund site in Milford, NH.

"This week's order brings us another major step forward in reclaiming this important parcel near downtown Milford," said Ira Leighton, acting regional administrator of EPA's New England Office. "Coming on the heels of the demolition of the former Fletcher's Paint Works building last winter, this order ensures that the property will now be cleaned up and made safe."

Areas to be cleaned up under the order include the former Fletcher's Paint Works property on Elm Street, the former Fletcher's Storage Facility on Mill Street, a drainage ditch system running from Mill Street to the Souhegan River and groundwater contamination that extends from Mill Street to the Souhegan River.

The unilateral administrative order requires GE to excavate the contaminated soils at the Mill and Elm Street areas, to treat the contaminated soils at the Elm Street area and to place the treated soil back into the excavated areas. Those areas will then be covered with clean soil and asphalt. The order also requires GE to monitor the contaminated groundwater until drinking water levels are being met.

Fletcher's Paint Works manufactured and sold water-based latex paints and organic chemical-based solvent paints from 1949 to 1991. Contaminant releases to the environment occurred as a result of storage of hazardous substances on the properties. The Fletcher's Paint site was placed on EPA's National Priorities List in 1989, making it eligible for federal action to address longer-term environmental impacts under the Superfund program.

EPA removed more than 800 drums containing hazardous substances and placed a temporary cover over the contaminated soil in 1989, and fenced the Elm Street area of the site in 1991. In 1993, hazardous substances were removed from the Elm Street building and the Mill Street storage shed. The shed was then demolished and disposed of. In 1995, PCB contaminated soils on residential properties along Mill Street were excavated and disposed of to minimize the public's exposure to these contaminants. In 1996, PCB contaminated soils were removed from a small piece of land along Elm Street to allow for the construction of the Korean War Memorial.