Maine town seeking funding for clean up of shuttered mill

Budget could be bad timing for Lincoln mill

LINCOLN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- While Some say President Trump’s latest actions seem to threaten environmental protection, there is one town in central Maine that may seek to use federal dollars to clean up one of the state’s shuttered mill sites.

People in Lincoln are considering several options, one of them being a superfund. It is one of the Environmental Protection Agency’s programs responsible for cleaning up contaminated land, but people are still trying to figure out whether or not that is the best decision.

 “It’s complicated, it’s going to be time consuming,” said town manager, John Sutherland.

Between asbestos and other toxic waste, he said it is going to cost upwards of 20 million dollars to get the job done. So, he and others have brainstormed a list of potential solutions.

The first would bring in a private developer but Sutherland doesn't think anyone would want such a project.
A second option is to turn to the state funded Brownfield Program, but it would not cover the entire cost.
The third option seems the most feasible:

“To cover the amount of environmental cleanup there… the superfund is the only way to go,” said code enforcement officer, Bruce Arnold.

If granted, the EPA will cover the cost of cleanup but that could take decades and some people already do not like the idea of the government stepping in. 

“It carries a stigma with it but the options of just letting the mill stand and fall…that wouldn't be responsible either,” said Arnold.

Town officials said the sooner they can decide on an answer, the faster they can continue to grow their community. 

A meeting with the EPA is expected to take place on March 27th and is open to the public.

Copyright 2017 WLBZ


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