WILTON — Cleanup of the former tannery site on Route 2 could begin by late summer or early fall now that the town has been awarded a $200,000 federal Environmental Protection Agency grant.

Ridding the town property of hazardous materials will help prepare it for future development, Town Manager Rhonda Irish said. She was notified Thursday of the award, which is part of $3.4 million in cleanup and assessment grants awarded in Maine.

The grant to Wilton is expected to be used to reduce the amount of hazardous substances on the 15-acre former Wilton Tanning site at 833 Route 2 in East Wilton. The tannery operated from 1959 until 1996. It was used for storage from 2003 to 2010.

“Contamination at the site includes tetrachloroethylene originating from a former dry cleaner, vinyl chloride, chromium and inorganic contaminants. These contaminants have affected soil, groundwater and soil gas,” according to the EPA.

The EPA’s Brownfields program grants are used for properties where redevelopment or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential for a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant.

The town needs to provide documents and information by mid-June to the EPA office in Boston to complete the grant process, Irish said.

EPA coordinator AmyJean McKeown has been appointed to work with the town on the project. A state Department of Environmental Protection coordinator will also be appointed. The town will need to hire an environmental consultant, she said.

The grant requires a 20 percent match from the town, or $40,000, and completion of Phase I and Phase II Brownfields Assessments, which have been done.

Selectmen voted to apply for the grant in November to consolidate contaminated materials into the site’s landfill, seal and cap it.

The town’s portion of the grant can be reduced through credit for work done on the property by town departments, Irish said. The most damaged section of the building will be razed, items left inside will be cleaned up, and mowing and tree cutting done.

Concerns about the property date back to 1989, Irish said. The town acquired it in 2010 for unpaid taxes.

 [email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: