May 21, 2018
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Feds add Windham industrial site to special environmental hazard cleanup list

By Darren Fishell, BDN Staff

WINDHAM, Maine — The Environmental Protection Agency has named a former Windham industrial site to a priority list for cleanup.

Willy Ritch, a spokesman for U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, said Thursday that the site has been named to the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Priorities List, a designation for which it was recommended in late 2013.

The site joins 13 others in the state on the priority list, which means it will be further investigated as a site that could call for remediation. From 1756 to 1997, the property at 7 Depot St. housed various industrial operations, including a sawmill, grist and wood carding mill, wood pulp and boxboard manufacturing, among other uses, according to an Environmental Protection Agency site profile.

It has been vacant since 1997.

In a statement Thursday, Pingree said the announcement was an important step to cleaning up the site, but the remediation stands to be delayed by proposed cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund program.

“Republicans in the House have proposed slashing the [Environmental Protection Agency’s] budget by one-third and letting corporations off the hook for fees they now pay into the Superfund budget,” Pingree said. “Those kind of cuts would devastate the federal government’s ability to clean up sites like Keddy Mill.”

The Environmental Protection Agency found fuel and other oils buried at the site left behind polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, which pose a potential health threat to humans and have been linked to cancer in animals.

In its earlier recommendation that the site receive National Priorities List status, the Environmental Protection Agency wrote that the site was too contaminated to be remediated through a Brownfields program and the state does not have the resources to address it from its uncontrolled site program.

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