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Cleanup Work Completed at A.C. Lawrence Site in South Paris, Maine

Release Date: 09/25/2007
Contact Information: Paula Ballentine (617) 918-1027

(Boston—September 25, 2007) - EPA recently completed a year-long, four million dollar clean up project at the A.C. Lawrence Site, located on Oxford Street in South Paris, Maine.

The removal action consisted of the excavation of 33,000 tons of chromium-contaminated soil to mitigate potential endangerment to public heath and the environment. After the soil removal, EPA repaired the riverbank and seeded the Site with non-invasive plants to prevent erosion.

"EPA's clean up responders are highly trained and experienced to protect public health and our environment. We are proud of the clean up work in South Paris to protect the river and drinking water supply," said Robert Varney, regional administrator of EPA's New England office.

From approximately 1952 to 1977, the A.C. Lawrence Tannery facility, formerly located on the west bank of the Little Androscoggin River, used a metal trough to transport their waste to settling lagoons on the southeast bank of the Little Androscoggin River. EPA's work eliminated the potential hazard of chromium sludge impacting the river through erosion and removed the threat to the drinking water supply and sensitive ecosystems.

“We are very pleased with the cleanup of this hazardous waste site, and thankful to the EPA for recognizing this as a priority and committing nearly $4 million to this project” said Commissioner David Littell, from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. “The chromium contamination from the tannery sludge posed a significant threat to the environment and specifically the Little Androscoggin River. The cleanup and closure of this site will permanently remove a significant risk to the water quality in the Little Androscoggin River, and eliminates a substantial health threat to nearby children as well.”

Throughout the cleanup, EPA worked closely with officials from the town of South Paris and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to coordinate the work and to ensure that public health was protected.

More information: EPA clean-up efforts in New England (epa.gov/region1/cleanup)

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