GRAY – Townspeople will have an opportunity on Wednesday to meet with federal and state environmental officials who will discuss environmental investigations at the McKin Superfund site. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at Stimson Hall, 4 Shaker Road.

Beginning May 18, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection will sample groundwater and soil gases in several locations in Gray, where contaminated groundwater is located. The sampling will occur at the roadways of Mayall, Depot and Route 115. The work is designed to evaluate areas west of the contamination source, to determine whether further investigation or action may be necessary.

EPA expects sampling results to be available within about two months of the sampling date. Based on the results of this first sampling event, EPA may plan further testing.

At the public meeting, state and federal environmental officials will be available to address questions concerning the work and follow-up efforts.

The McKin site covers about 7 acres. A collection and transfer station for waste oil and industrial process waste, the McKin facility was built in 1972 on property previously used as a sand and gravel pit. From 1972 to 1977, the facility handled between 100,000 and 200,000 gallons of waste a year.

Volatile organic chemicals from the facility contaminated local residential wells through the groundwater, as well as soil at the McKin facility. This prompted an EPA and DEP Superfund cleanup to begin in the mid 1980s. Under a legal agreement, the responsible parties removed drums and contaminated soil from the site and performed soil aeration. Residential homes in the affected area are connected to the Gray public water supply system.

A groundwater pump and treatment system were also installed, which operated between 1991 and 1995. EPA and DEP approved a shutdown of the groundwater treatment system in 1995 and frequent sampling of groundwater and surface water is being conducted to confirm the protection of human health and the environment.

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