March 26, 2010
AUGUSTA – Rep. Tim Driscoll, D-Westbrook, and Sen. Phil Bartlett, D-Gorham, initiated a meeting with Maine Department of Environmental Protection officials this week following recent press accounts of concerns over chemical contamination at the former Unitrode site on Eisenhower Drive in Westbrook.
“Although the Maine DEP is involved with monitoring and mitigation at this site because of known contamination, my concern is that the most appropriate mitigation process is in place and that we are doing everything we can to prevent migration of contaminants offsite,” said Driscoll. “The citizens of Westbrook understand and appreciate the value and importance of our rivers and streams and have taken an active role in implementing processes that intend to clean up our waterways and watershed properties.”
The concern over the contamination at the site, located at 2 Eisenhower Drive, is the latest chapter in a lengthy battle among Westbrook citizens over Pike Industries’ right to excavate and blast at the company’s quarry on Spring Street.
“This has been a contentious issue for years now, and Westbrook residents will eventually have the final say,” said Driscoll. “But it’s important to get all the facts out into the open, and that’s why Sen. Bartlett and I decided to meet with DEP officials.”
Following the meeting, Driscoll said he was confident the DEP was handling the contamination at the site responsibly and appropriately. In 2003, the DEP issued an order prohibiting any excavation, drilling or other disturbance of the ground on or beneath the Eisenhower property without the agency's permission. Many residents in Westbrook want that DEP order extended to Pike’s quarry.
“We know the former Unitrode site is contaminated,” said Driscoll. “But what we don’t know is how far the contamination has spread and how easily it could flow into the watershed and ultimately into the Stroudwater River. Regardless of how you feel about Pike’s right to blast at the Spring Street quarry, I think we can all agree we want to avoid contaminating the river. Further studies need to be conducted to get a more complete picture.”
Rep. Driscoll, 856-7014
Sean Smith, legislative aide, 287-1430
Jodi Quintero, communications director, 287-1433