Most of former Corinna textile mill property may be removed from hazardous site list

Robert Kerr (left) of Dover-Foxcroft and Joshua Richard of Dexter place a tarp over one of the treatment beds at the Superfund site in Corinna in 2002.
BDN File Photo
Robert Kerr (left) of Dover-Foxcroft and Joshua Richard of Dexter place a tarp over one of the treatment beds at the Superfund site in Corinna in 2002. Buy Photo
Posted July 11, 2012, at 9:18 p.m.

CORINNA, Maine — The majority of the property formerly known as the Eastland Woolen Mill is ready to be removed from the U.S. Environmental Protection Association’s list of hazardous sites.

The textile mill, which was located near the east branch of the Sebasticook River near Route 7, operated from 1909 until 1996. In 1998, the EPA signed an Action Memorandum to implement a Non-Time-Critical Removal Action of hazardous materials beginning in 1999.

For about 10 years, cleanup efforts were conducted at the site, including the removal of 75,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil and the demolition of the mill.

Now the EPA says about two-thirds of the property is ready to be removed from the federal Superfund site list.

“It’s quite an accomplishment when you know you’ve cleaned up quite a big chunk of property and put it back in use for the town,” said Pamela Harting-Barrat, spokeswoman for EPA New England.

The EPA will hold a public meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 24, at Corinna Elementary School regarding the removal of much of the site from hazardous protection. The public is invited to learn about the status and express comments or concerns.

The public has 30 days to submit comments before the deletion of the property is completed. If no significant adverse or critical comments are received during that period, the land will be taken off the Superfund site list.

The Eastland Woolen Mill, which occupied about 250,000 square feet, reportedly used chlorobenzenes as part of its wool dye process starting in the 1960s. The original disposal practice was discharging waste directly into the river, which drains into Sebasticook Lake, according to the EPA.

Cleanup on the site was completed in 2006 and remedial action was done in 2008. Land use restrictions for the site were removed last month.

The land that will remain part of the Eastland Woolen Mill Superfund site borders all of the east side of Main Street, the north side of Nokomis Road and includes a part of the Sebasticook River near Route 7.

Corinna Town Manager Kimberly Godsoe said much of the area that is ready to be deleted from EPA’s register already has been subdivided in case the town wants to sell parcels for development.

“A whole section of property is all subdivided,” said Godsoe. “It will be advertised for sale once everything goes through.”

Godsoe hopes businesses might be interested in land at a strategic point in Corinna, which is near the intersections of Routes 7, 11, 43 and 222.

Selling the subdivided land is just one of the options the town must mull over.

“Other ideas that have been kicked around are a new fire station or using it for a fairground, which is what we’ve been using it for,” said Godsoe, adding that right now the land is a park.

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