CMP plans cleanup of toxic Augusta site

Posted Dec. 23, 2011, at 11:42 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Central Maine Power Co. plans to clean up and contain toxic coal tar left next to, and likely underneath, Bond Brook at the site of the former Augusta Gas Works.

A spokesman for the utility says the cleanup planned for next summer is expected to cost between $1.5 million and $2 million.

Coal tar is a potentially cancer-causing substance created as a byproduct of the once-commonplace gasification process. Coal was converted into gas to provide heat and light lamps and streetlights from the 1800s through the 1950s.

State environmental officials told the Kennebec Journal some of the coal tar will be removed, but some will be contained with impermeable barriers and monitored so it doesn’t get into the ground water.

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