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November 17, 2014

GAC to conduct contamination investigation

GAC Chemical Corp., which runs a chemical plant in Searsport, said it will work with the state to investigate an adjacent mudflat for possible contamination.

The Bangor Daily News reported that GAC Chemical filed an application to participate in the Maine Department of Environmental Protection's Voluntary Response Action Program for the investigation of contamination of mudflats east of the Sears Island Causeway, which is near the chemical plant. The response program encourages participants to clean up and redevelop contaminated properties in exchange for protecting them from enforcement actions.

"We need to review the investigative work that was done by [engineering firm] CES and then decide our course of action," David Colter, president and CEO of GAC Chemical, told the newspaper. "We'd like to see all the data and the test results to determine [the] next steps."

Ron Huber, executive director of the Friends of Penobscot Bay, told the BDN that his group has been asking for GAC Chemical to investigate for contamination since 1998. The group earlier this year hired an oceanographer who found that the mudflats had the worst acidification he's ever seen and said that it would cause clams to dissolve.

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