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November 17, 2017

Arrest made in arson fire at former Lincoln mill, DEP worried about contaminants

Investigators from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection plan to tour the former Lincoln Paper and Tissue Mill today in preparation for testing on Saturday to determine possible health threats from smoldering rubble around two mill buildings destroyed by a fire Wednesday.

The Bangor Daily News reported that the chief environmental concerns are possible contamination from dioxin and polychlorinated biphenyls present on the site from the pulp and papermaking processes, as well as asbestos used as a fire insulant inside the mill buildings.

A former mill worker, David Parsons, 59, of Lincoln, was charged with three counts of arson on Thursday in the fire that destroyed a scale shed and a 300-foot warehouse at the shuttered mill, the newspaper reported. 

Lincoln Pulp and Paper, which manufactured commodity and specialty tissue products for customers in the United States and internationally, suffered a boiler explosion in November 2013 that eventually led to its filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and eventual closure in 2015. Almost 130 workers lost their jobs due to that closure.

The BDN reported that Lincoln officials voted earlier this year to seek Superfund designation for the mill site’s cleanup, which is estimated to be in the range of $20 million.

Read more

Lincoln Paper and Tissue files for bankruptcy, expects to auction mill

Old Town pulp mill to close by end of year

Shuttered Lincoln mill to seek $1.1 million from vendors

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