June 22, 2018
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Former HoltraChem owners appeal EPA’s cleanup order for toxic soil

By Kevin Miller, BDN Staff

The former owner of the HoltraChem facility in Orrington is appealing a recent cleanup order issued by state environmental regulators.

Mallinckrodt LLC filed the appeal with the Maine Board of Environmental Protection last month after a federal judge refused to intervene in the case. The board is the first route of appeal for any orders issued by the Department of Environmental Protection.

In late November, the DEP ordered Mallinckrodt to begin removing an estimated 360,000 tons of contaminated soils from the HoltraChem Manufacturing site, located on the banks of the Penobscot River. The soils, most of which are contained in several large landfills, are contaminated with mercury and other toxic chemicals used or produced by the chlor-alkali factory over several decades.

Mallinckrodt, which is the sole former owner of the HoltraChem factory still in business, has argued that it would be safer and less expensive to encapsulate the contaminated soils on-site.

The BEP has not scheduled a date to consider the appeal.

Mallinckrodt officials declined to comment on the appeal Friday because it is the subject of litigation. But spokeswoman JoAnna Schooler said the company has been working with the DEP and federal environmental regulators to clean up the site for more than seven years.

“Our goal continues to be the restoration of this site and its eventual reuse for the benefit of the community,” Schooler said.



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