June 19, 2018
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DEP report: Site for new Rockland public works garage free of pollution

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff

ROCKLAND, Maine — The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has given the city a clean bill of health for a 13-acre parcel that is being eyed for a new public works garage.

The question of whether there was pollution was raised in a report issued last month by Summit Geoengineering Services of Augusta. One statement in the report indicated that there may be 55-gallon drums of paint buried on a portion of the city-owned property located by the transfer station.

“We understand that significant portions of the northern gravel pad area (currently occupied by compost and gravel-sand stockpiles) may contain buried 55 gallon drums filled with paint waste or similar. Exact location and extent of the buried steel drums is not known by Summit,” the report stated.

But City Manager James Smith informed the city council last week that tests have shown no such contamination. The DEP wrote to the city stating that no paint was found.

Five test pits were dug and gas meters were used to detect the presence of residual hydrocarbons and none were detected. No other hazardous materials were found.

The city asked for the DEP to conduct the tests once the engineering report was issued.

Mayor William Clayton asked last week that the Summit report be amended to remove that reference.

Voters have twice rejected a referendum to borrow money for a new public works complex, once in 2007 and most recently in November 2011 when residents said no 895-881 to borrowing $2.9 million.

City councilors have voiced support for holding another referendum although no date has been set. The property near the transfer station is being considered as an alternative site to the earlier proposals to building the new garage on the existing public works site.

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