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Oil fueling Eddy County's economic future

Feds agree to pay Maine $413K for pollution clean-up

BANGOR, Maine (AP) — The federal government has agreed to pay Maine about $413,000 to clean up decades-old hazardous pollution at oil storage facilities.

Democratic Attorney General Janet Mills alleged two weeks ago in U.S. District Court that Maine faces $10.8 million in past and future cleanup costs for pollution at former Portland-Bangor Waste Oil Co. sites in Casco and Ellsworth.

The lawsuit claimed the Department of Defense disposed at the sites, which stored waste in tanks that leaked contaminants like lead into the ground.

Maine and the federal government reached an Aug. 18 settlement, which does not admit wrongdoing or liability for either side.

Both the Casco and Ellsworth sites were once owned and operated by Portland Bangor Waste Oil, which transferred, stored, processed and disposed oil from 1969 to 1980.

State and federal regulators investigated the sites from the 1980s to the early 2000s and found hazardous substances in soil, sediment and groundwater, according to the lawsuit.

In 2010, Maine reached a $14 million settlement with state and local groups who disposed at the company’s Plymouth site, including paper companies and municipalities. And in 2007, the state started a bond program to help groups that disposed at the company’s four sites pay response costs.

In May, the state won an $110,655 settlement from the federal government after arguing the agency neglected cleanup of a South Berwick naval shipyard disposal site.

The Department of Defense also didn’t admit to any wrongdoing in that settlement.


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