After Congress enacted the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (commonly know as Superfund) in 1980, the EPA set out to locate, investigate, and clean up the worst uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the nation.
By the end of 2000, the National Priorities List (NPL) had increased from 460 to 1450 sites. The EPA developed the 1999 Superfund Redevelopment Initiative (SRI) to help local governments reclaim Superfund properties as valuable assets. Under the Pilot Program, EPA provided up to $100,000 in financial assistance and services to local government for this purpose.
Corinna, Maine, was added to the NPL list in July of 1999, and in July 2000 was selected to participate in the SRI Pilot Program. Corinna, a small rural town, was home to the Eastland Woolen Mill, a 21-acre site located on Main Street. The site included a 250,000-square-foot abandoned mill building that straddled the East Branch of the Sebasticook River.
Since operation began operation in 1909, hazardous substances were disposed of directly into the river. As a result, Sebasticook River was significantly contaminated. Cleaning it up required the removal of soils beneath both the building and the river. This meant not only the removal of the former textile mill, but also the permanent relocation of the river, and Route 7, also known as Main Street. The project included moving 350 meters of the East Branch of the Sebasticook River to a new location and the restoration of several hundred meters of the river immediately upstream of the relocation. In addition, stormwater treatment became a priority to protect the river from continued contamination.
Due to site constraints Jeff Aceto, Senior Project Engineer, of Harding Lawson Associates, a MACTEC company, determined the Vortechs System was an appropriate system to treat the discharge from two Route 7 storm drains. They provide a high level of protection for the relatively small and shallow river waterway
According to Aceto, his company chose to specify Contech for the redevelopment of the Sebasticook River based on prior successful projects. “Contech produces quality products and provides excellent service,” he said.