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Clean Up Begins at American Tissue Mills of Maine Site in Augusta

Release Date: 10/19/2006
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Augusta, Maine – Oct. 19, 2006) - EPA will begin clean up work next week at the American Tissue Mills of Maine Site located at 54 Maple Street in Augusta. The site includes an abandoned mill complex and a wastewater treatment plant. The cost of the clean up is estimated to be $1.4 million.

The paper mill, located along the Kennebec River, was operated by several different entities before American Tissue Mills of Maine assumed ownership in 2000. In 2001 American Tissue Mills entered into bankruptcy.

Previous investigations of the facility reveal several storage tanks located at the wastewater treatment plant which contained bulk quantities of chemical used in the treatment of wastewater. Numerous tanks are located throughout the facility and contain chemical products used in the tissue manufacturing process and in the treatment of wastewater generated during the manufacturing process. In addition, lines from tanks are also filled with liquid chemicals which are susceptible to freezing during the winter months and rupturing the lines, resulting in a hazardous material spill.

Approximately 100 55-gallon drums and numerous other small containers, pails and bagged product were found in various locations throughout the facility. The containers are scattered around the facility in a number of buildings as well as out door locations.

Over the next several months, EPA will take steps to keep the pipes and materials from freezing; carefully empty and dispose of the chemicals, drums and containers, empty storage tanks; empty and collecting the liquid from charged lines in the facility; collect and consolidate the various smaller containers located throughout the facility into an on-site temporary staging area before transporting the materials off site for disposal at an approved facility. EPA will also post signs and restrict access and deter trespassers from accessing the site.

Over the next several months, EPA’s primary focus is to remove the large volume of hazardous and flammable materials from the facility. While this work is ongoing, the public is reminded not to trespass on the site or enter the buildings.

For more information on clean up of American Tissue Mills of Maine site (http://www.epaosc.net/ATM)

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