In January of 2008, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (MEDEP) requested that EPA Region 1 Emergency Planning & Response Branch evaluate the subject property, which is currently privately owned, to determine whether lead contaminated surface and subsurface soils along the Penobscot River pose a public health and environmental threat. On 18 April 2008, OSC Wainberg and Enforcement Coordinator Hennessy met with MEDEP representative Tracy Weston at the DEP Augusta offices to perform a file review and to conduct a site visit at the Rolnick Property. At the Site, T. Weston and the current property owner provided a tour and explained previous investigations and removal work. On 15 May 2008, the OSC, EPA contractors, and MEDEP completed a Removal Program Preliminary Assessment/Site Investigation (PA/SI), which included collecting soil samples in areas of concern MEDEP previously identified. OSC Wainberg recommended a time-critical removal action at the Rolnick Property Site in a Closure Memorandum dated 14 July 2008.
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The Site, which abuts the Penobscot River, is located in a mixed residential and commercial area and is approximately 0.5 miles from the Brewer town center. According to 2006 census data, Brewer has an approximate population of 9,079.
Location details are:
• 151 South Main Street, Brewer, Penobscot County, Maine; and
• North 44°47’25.31” latitude, west 68°46’12.43” longitude.
The Site is bordered to the:
• North by three residential properties along Hardy Street and a town owned parcel that is the location of a formerly active municipal landfill and currently houses a pump station. Additionally, this parcel is being utilized as a staging area for the Maine Department of Transportation;
• East by South Main Street;
• West by the Penobscot River; and
• South by the Penobscot River and a commercial property.
The Site history , current status, and features consist of the following:
• The Site is approximately 4.24 acres;
• The property is privately owned and operated. There is a 40ft by 70ft Quonset hut in the northwest corner of the property along Main Street, which houses an active bottle redemption business that has been operating since approximately 1984;
• From approximately 1865 to 1906, the property was used by Dirigo Lumber as a saw mill;
• From 1895 until sometime before 1929, Charles Stanford owned and operated an automobile dealership at the Site;
• In 1914, a portion of the property was leased to Louis Rolnick for use as an automobile salvage facility. Louis Rolnick purchased the entire property in 1929 and continued its operation as an automobile salvage facility until 1983;
• Another portion of the Site was leased to Albert Cowan in 1933 for use as an Amoco gasoline station. The service station was located on the northeast corner of the subject property and remained there until 1946;
• The primary areas of concern at this property include the riverbank along the southern and western edges of the property where extensive sampling has indicated high levels of lead contamination in the surface and subsurface soils;
• The riverbank along the southern edge has visible battery casings (presumably from the auto salvage business) that extend from the top of the bank extending to below the high water mark; and
• The riverbank along the western edge is comprised of crib work constructed with wood timbers and car chasses. Battery casings and other debris are visible in this area.
On 19 August 2008 an Action Memorandum was approved authorizing a removal action at the Rolnick Property Site to address the public health and environmental threat posed by the lead in surface soils along the Penobscot River.
Throughout the summer of 2008, EPA worked with the property owner to gain removal access. Access was granted at the end of September 2008. EPA anticipates addressing contaminated soils during the 2009 construction season.