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EPA TO DEMOLISH MANVILLE BUILDINGS

Release Date: 09/09/1996
Contact Information: Liza Judge, Community Involvement; (617) 918-1067

BOSTON ---The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today it will provide the necessary funding to demolish the Johns Manville facility in Nashua, NH by adding an additional $2.55 million for the project, bringing the total site budget to $3.7 million to remove two buildings and dangerous asbestos from the site.

"Today's action is further confirmation of the Clinton/Gore administration's commitments to protecting the health of the people of Nashua. The dedication by local and state officials to cleaning up this site has been far above and beyond the call of duty," said John P. DeVillars, administrator for EPA's New England office. "We've heard the call from Nashua and are pledging $2.55 million more to finish the job off completely."

NH Department of Environmental Services Commissioner Robert W. Varney noted that, "Completion of this cleanup will remove a critical public health and safety threat for thousands of Nashua area residents, and we're very pleased that these federal resources have been made available to bolster local and state contributions. Cooperation of all parties including very effective neighborhood representation has been exemplary."

OHM Remediation Services Corporation began to demolish the smaller of the two buildings September 4. During the demolition, water is sprayed to control any dust that is generated. Workers then load the debris into specially designed dumpsters, which are covered with a heavy tarp and taken to the Nashua landfill for disposal under an agreement with the City.

In response to the new funding, Senator Bob Smith stated, "As a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, I am honored to have assisted in facilitating in the cleanup and removal of the asbestos at the Johns Manville site. In addition to removing a significant health threat to local residents, the demolition of these buildings will also free up a prime site for redevelopment and economic growth in Nashua. Thanks to Mayor Davidson's insistence, the debris from the site will be properly disposed of, and result in a savings of $1 million to Nashua taxpayers. I am grateful for all the assistance and quick work the EPA has performed to help eliminate this environmental and public health risk for the citizens of Nashua."

Hearing of the new funding Representative Charles Bass stated, "This additional funding is very welcome news for the Nashua residents who live adjacent to the Johns Manville site. This announcement clearly demonstrates that our efforts to with local residents, city officials and the EPA are paying off. I look forward to continuing our cooperative efforts in the months to come."

The Johns-Manville facility consists of two large manufacturing facilities which produced asbestos products. The facility is located on Bridge and Sanders Streets in Nashua in a residential neighborhood that includes more than a dozen schools. The facilities have been abandoned since 1992. The buildings, in particular the roofs, have collapsed for a second time and are continuing to deteriorate. Asbestos materials, resulting from illegal operations by a previous owner, were removed in previous EPA cleanups.

The City of Nashua has condemned the building and has constructed a fence to restrict trespassers, many of whom have been entering the buildings to salvage equipment. The City will continue to provide landfill space for disposal of asbestos from the site as well as police and fire support.