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Feds release cleanup plan of Superfund site in Windham

The Keddy Mill Complex property layout.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
The Keddy Mill Complex property layout.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced plans to clean up a contaminated, former mill property in Windham.

The Keddy Mill complex in Windham has been on the EPA's list of Superfund sites since 2014 after studies found PCBs, heavy metals, petroleum products and other contaminants. The property, which is located in the Little Falls area of the Presumpscot River, had been the site of multiple mills beginning in the mid-1700s. But environmental officials believe much of the contamination stems from the 1960s and 1970s when the Keddy Mill Company made steel products at the site.

Under the clean-up plan announced on Tuesday, the EPA will demolish the large, dilapidated mill building and other structures on the 7-acre site. The plan also calls for removing contaminated soils from the property, treating the groundwater, restoring a portion of the Presumpscot River and ongoing monitoring of environmental conditions.

Windham Town Manager Barry Tibbetts said the long-term goal is to redevelop the site for a mix of housing and businesses as well as providing riverfront access to the public. The town has already developed a master plan to make the area more walkable and those changes, coupled with the mill site redevelopment, "will really change the whole look and feel of that village."

"It's right on the Presumpscot River, it's a beautiful location," Tibbetts said Tuesday afternoon. "It's right in the heart of the South Windham village. And I think it affords the community to get back something that was lost."

The EPA estimates the initial cleanup will take two to four years to complete once the old mill buildings have been demolished. And the agency estimates the work will cost about $17 million.

“EPA’s cleanup plan for the Keddy Mill Superfund Site is a strong effort to ensure the health and safety of community members, protecting them for generations to come.” EPA New England Regional Administrator David Cash said in a statement. "Cleaning up Superfund sites helps us ensure that no community, no family, and no child has to face exposure to chemicals and other dangerous substances in their day to day lives."

The full cleanup plan can be found here.