GAC Chemical to work with Maine DEP

SEARSPORT, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- For years, activists in Searsport have been calling for more state testing at the GAC Chemical property.

Despite assurances from the company and Maine DEP, they have concerns that sulfuric acid may be leaching into Penobscot Bay from an old abandoned plant on the property. GAC manufactures and distributes industrial, specialty, and fine inorganic and organic chemicals. On their website they said their markets include pulp, power plants, agriculture and waste water.

"There's certainly some species that have adapted, but we don't think it's nearly enough to go, 'well, some things have adapted to the waste. Let's let it keep on spewing.' No, that's not good," said Ron Huber, executive director of Friends of Penobscot Bay.

GAC denied those claims, but has agreed to team up with Maine DEP to investigate and clean up the site through a program called VRAP, or Voluntary Respond Action Program. It allows applicants to voluntarily investigate and cleanup properties in exchange for protection from enforcement actions.

In a statement, GAC President David Colter wrote, "We will continue to work to ensure that our operations are conducted consistent with all environmental and regulatory requirements."

Huber said he hopes he and all the other stakeholders will have a say in GAC and Maine DEP's plan going forward.


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