NORWAY – An environmental consultant told selectmen Thursday night that testing at the former corn cannery beside Lake Pennesseewassee revealed a small amount of contaminant but posed no immediate threat to human health or the environment.

“This is a fairly clean industrial site,” said Rich Campbell, president of Campbell Environmental Group of Falmouth, which performed the tests. “This is not a site I would get overly concerned about.”

Campbell said some areas “were not a good place to play in the soil. We didn’t find much in the groundwater. Essentially, the water is clean.”

The property at 61 Lake Road is just west of the downtown business district. It was the site of a corn-canning factory until the 1950s, then a storage area for Central Maine Power Co. materials and a bus maintenance and fueling station for the local vocational school.

Owner John Longley, a Norway businessman, volunteered to participate in the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s assessment program, for which the town received a grant in 2005.

Tests on soil and water samples showed some small, localized areas were affected by chemicals, which could be man-made or from organic sources. Tests also showed lead, arsenic and other contaminants.

Lead and arsenic were found in shallow surface soil beneath the elevated portion of the former corn factory area; elevated concentrations of diesel fuel and its byproducts were found in shallow surface soil beneath the bus garage sump discharge. There were elevated concentrations of arsenic and lead inside the garage sump floor drain.

Campbell said the state may or may not recommend cleanup, depending on the future use of the site. There are no cleanup funds available for private landowners, but the state does provide the owner with a letter that clears the land for certain activities.

Longley, who was commended by the board for volunteering to have his private property tested, said he had no immediate plans for the 2.5-acre property.


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