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United States Environmental Protection Agency
Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England
  Serving Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont & 9 Tribal Nations
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 Site Type: Long Term/National Priorities List (NPL) Click to see more about Site Type and how it is used?


Map this site in Cleanups in My Community
 Washburn,  Maine
 Aroostook County
 Street Address: Gardner Creek Road
 Zip Code: 04786

 EPA ID #: MED980732291
 Site ID #: 0101036
 Site Aliases:

 Site Responsibility: Federal

 Proposed Date 12/30/1982
 Final Date 09/08/1983
  Deleted Date 09/30/2002

Site Description
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Pinette's Salvage Yard covers 12 acres and consists of a vehicle repair and salvage yard. In 1979, three electrical transformers were removed from Loring Air Force Base by a private electrical contractor and brought to the site, where they ruptured while being moved from the delivery vehicle. Approximately 900 to 1,000 gallons of dielectrical fluids containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) spilled directly onto the ground. The oil migrated through the soil and contaminated groundwater and surface water. Land surrounding the yard is used for residential, general industrial, and agricultural purposes. The nearest population center is located approximately 1 mile northeast of the site. There are approximately 15 residences located within a mile radius of the site. The distance to the nearest residence is about 250 feet from the spill area. An undeveloped forest and a wetlands area are also located adjacent to the site. The Aroostook River, a major waterway in Northern Maine, is located approximately 1,500 feet from the site. The water supply for the eight to ten residences located within a one half mile radius is obtained from private wells located in the deep bedrock aquifer below the site. Municipal wells, used to supply the drinking water to local residents, are located 1 mile from the site.

Threats and Contaminants
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Prior to cleanup, soil was contaminated. In June 1999 and September 1999, ME Department of Environmental Protection (ME DEP) tested the groundwater and found moderately elevated levels of PCBs in Well Cluster No. 5 which is located approximately in the middle of the site. Such test results showed Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were no longer present in the groundwater. PCBs are not likely to migrate or move in the groundwater from this location without the VOCs present to act as carriers. However, as a precautionary measure, institutional controls in the form of deed restrictions have been implemented at the site within a 130 foot circle around Well Cluster No. 5. These institutional controls do not allow current or future property owners to install domestic wells within this 130 foot circle. Furthermore currently all residential wells are located upgradient of the site and thus are not threatened.

Cleanup Approach
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The site was addressed in three stages: emergency actions and two long-term remedial phases focusing on the source control and groundwater cleanup.

Response Action Status
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Emergency Actions In 1983, the EPA excavated 800 cubic yards of PCB-contaminated soil and transported it to a federally-approved disposal facility.

Source Control The remedy originally selected in 1989 by the EPA to control the source of contamination at the site included off-site incineration of PCB-contaminated soil and on-site solvent extraction of an additional 1,700 to 1,900 cubic yards of contaminated soil. Cleanup activities began in 1991, during which 410 cubic yards of highly contaminated soil were excavated and incinerated off site. The solvent extraction treatment process began in 1992 but, as a result of poor performance, EPA amended the remedy in 1993 to allow for off-site disposal of all remaining soil in a regulated landfill. Cleanup activities were completed later that year. In total, 1,005 tons of soil were incinerated, 20 tons of soil were treated using solvent extraction, and 5,103 tons were disposed of in an off-site regulated landfill.

Groundwater During source control activities (1991-1993), over 1,000,000 gallons of groundwater was treated on site. Sampling of groundwater continued quarterly until October 1995. In June 1996, based on the results of the sampling, the EPA issued an Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) stating that PCBs are not currently migrating from the site and further treatment of contaminated groundwater is not warranted. Because PCBs will continue to pose health concerns if ingested, controls will be placed on the site property to prevent persons from installing drinking water wells on site. Additionally, the EPA will conduct five year reviews of the site.

Environmental Progress
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Successful removal and treatment of PCB-contaminated soil has reduced the potential of exposure to hazardous substances at the site, making the Pinette's Salvage Yard area suitable for residential use. Groundwater restrictions protect persons from drinking contaminated groundwater.

Current Site Status
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The transformer disposal site was listed in 1983. During 1999, two rounds of groundwater sampling were conducted to verify the efficiency of remediation. The first Five Year Review for this site was conducted in September 2000. The State of Maine established institutional controls at this site within a 130 foot circle around well cluster no. 5 which showed moderately elevated levels of PCBs. Implementation of the institutional controls in conjunction with annual groundwater monitoring and continuation of Five Year Reviews will insure long term protectiveness to human health and to the environment. The site was deleted from the National Priorities List (NPL) on September 30, 2002.

Site Photos
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Links to Other Site Information
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Disclaimer Instructions about PDF
Maps and Photos:
Photographs from 5-Year Review Report (9/2000)  

Newsletters & Press Releases:
Press Releases about this project  

Federal Register Notices:
Final NPL Listing  

Reports and Studies:
Five Year Review Report, September 26, 2000 (2052KB))  
Photographs from 5-Year Review Report (9/2000)  
Second Five Year Review Report, September 27, 2005  
Third Five Year Review Report, September 28, 2010 (6.71 MB)  

Decision Documents:
View Records of Decision (RODS) on-line (EPA HQ)  
Institutional Controls for this Site  

Other Links:
NPL Site Narrative at Listing:  
Site Progress Profile  

Site Repositories
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Washburn Town Office, Main Street, Washburn, ME 04286

OSRR Records and Information Center, 1st Floor, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100 (HSC), Boston, MA 02109-3912 (617) 918-1440

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EPA Remedial Project Manager: Almerinda Silva
Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
5 Post Office Square, Suite 100
Mail Code OSRR07-4
Boston, MA 02109-3912
Phone #: 617-918-1246
E-Mail Address: silva.almerinda@epa.gov

EPA Community Involvement Coordinator: Kate Renahan
Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
5 Post Office Square, Suite 100
Mail Code: ORA01-3
Boston, MA 02109-3912
Phone #: 617-918-1491
E-Mail Address: renahan.kate@epa.gov

State Agency Contact: Tracy Weston
Address: Maine Dept. of Environmental Protection
17 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333-0017
Phone #:
E-Mail Address:


Serving Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, & 9 Tribal Nations
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Last updated on Wednesday, January 15th, 2014
URL: http://www.epa.gov/region1/superfund/sites/pinette