EPA to update public on Callahan Mine Superfund site

By Kevin Miller, BDN Staff
Posted July 28, 2011, at 6:41 p.m.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection will hold a meeting next Tuesday in Brooksville to update the public on the cleanup of Callahan Mine, a federally designated Superfund site on the Blue Hill peninsula.

The EPA began the first phase of the Callahan Mine cleanup project this past spring, and activity on the site is expected to continue into the fall.

Ed Hathaway, the EPA’s project manager for the site, said all of the soils contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls — an industrial compound known as PCBs — have been excavated and stockpiled for removal.

Trucks have been hauling the contaminated materials away from the site since spring. However, the EPA terminated the contract with the original hauling company after several incidents, including a truck that was over the legal weight limit.

Cleanup of contamination at a handful of residential properties should be complete by this week or next week, Hathaway said.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Callahan Mining Co. extracted an estimated 800,000 tons of rock containing copper, zinc, lead and traces of silver from the site. The current cleanup is the first step in a multiphase project, the latter steps of which are expected to be much more extensive and costly as crews focus on the former mine pit, which is underwater.

Tuesday’s meeting is a chance for the public to receive an update on progress at the Superfund site and to ask EPA staff questions about the cleanup. Representatives from the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory and Dartmouth College who are performing research at the site also plan to attend.

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2, in Brooksville Town Hall.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/07/28/news/state/epa-to-update-public-on-callahan-mine-superfund-site/ printed on April 24, 2014