On 23 June 2017, a five-alarm fire was reported at the Stenton Trust Mills building which caused significant structural damage. Due to the fire, the roof of one section of the building, which contains asbestos, collapsed into the main body of the building and into the environment. At the request of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (ME DEP) and the City of Sanford, EPA conducted a site investigation to evaluate potential threats to the public and/or the environment from hazardous materials released from the Site. The City of Sanford erected a fence around the buildings to control access but trespassing continues to be an issue.
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A site assessment was conducted in September 2017 which confirmed the presence of asbestos which had been, or was in threat of being released into the environment. As a result of the site assessment, EPA approved a removal action at the site to address the threat of asbestos to the public.
The Stenton Trust Mill initially operated as a textile mill during the 1920s. The 270,000 square foot mill building consists of six distinct areas. These include the five-story Tower A, five-story Tower C, one-story Section B, one-story Section D, the loading dock along the north end of the building and the basement that underlies the entire structure except the loading dock.
Gateway Properties, LLC purchased the property in 1999 from the Stenton Trust. From 1999 to the present, Gateway Properties, LLC leased portions of the facility to a variety of light-industrial operations. During this period, the mill building had accumulated a large collection of containers (of various size, condition and contents. An EPA removal action was conducted at the Site in 2008 to removed the containers and drums of hazardous materials which were stored at the Site.