The ACL Tannery at 1 Bridge Street in Winchester, New Hampshire was in operation from the early 1900's to December 1987. Raw sheep hides were shipped to the site in railroad cars and processed into finished shearling leather.
This is the third EPA Removal Action at this site. The first removal concentrated mainly on the on-site waste water treatment plant and its associated sludges and containerized chemicals. The second removal dealt with contaminated sludge and debris, friable asbestos, and over 1,700 gallons of tetrachloroethylene-contaminated water from some of the on-site buildings.
The preliminary assessment/site investigation conducted in August, 2003 documented elevated levels of chromium in surface and near surface soil. The Action Memorandum, which documents the threat was signed by the acting Division Director on September 15, 2003.
EPA and their Emergency and Rapid Response Services (ERRS) contractor, Shaw E&I (Shaw) mobilized to the site on October 29, 2003. After site prepatory activities were completed, 788 tons of chromium contaminated soil were excavated and staged. This soil was transported for off-site disposal between December 8-12, 2003 along with other items such as lead-acid batteries, asbestos pipe, and a propane cylinder.
Concurrent with this CERCLA removal action was an ongoing investigation of a plume of Varsol, also known as a stoddard solvent and classified as a petroleum oil. This product was once used by the tannery to remove wool grease from the raw hides. The investigation and potential remediation would have been funded through the oil pollution act (OPA), but the NH DES, in a letter dated 5/12/04, stated that the subsurface varsol plume appears to have stabilizied and they will be monitoring the situation.