U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

East Millinocket Paper Mill - Chemical Storage Site

Site Contact:
Michael Cofsky
On-scene coordinator


Site Location:
50 Main Street
East Millinocket, ME 04430

On February 28, 2022, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection’s (MEDEP’s) hazardous waste management unit was asked by the town of East Millinocket, the Site owner, to investigate reports that hazardous waste was stored outside the former paper mill’s boiler house. On March 29, 2022, MEDEP visited the location and on March 31, 2022, requested EPA’s assistance. On May 25, 2022, EPA and its Superfund Technical Assessment and Response Team (START) contractor conducted a site walk with MEDEP, the town, Katahdin KI 50 (the prior owner) and Karma Environmental (a contractor) to investigate the Boiler House portion of the former mill property, and upon request, the Chemical Storage Building, adjacent to the former Recycle Fiber building, as well. The site walk included an initial site reconnaissance to observe and discuss current site conditions. During the visit, EPA identified two main areas of concern, the Boiler House, which is being addressed separately in another proposed action memorandum, and the Chemical Storage Building, the subject matter of this proposed Action Memorandum. During the site walk it was observed that the Chemical Storage Building contains nearly a dozen large ASTs, including a 16,500-gallon sodium hydroxide tank, an 8,200-gallon sulfuric acid tank, and multiple tanks reportedly holding water polishing polymer. The quantity of chemicals remaining in the ASTs and containers is unknown. Additionally, there are two 55-gallon drums labeled silicone waste, and a pallet of 5-gallon containers with flammable materials. Several of the above-ground storage tanks and containers were observed to be in deteriorating condition with at least one tank valve crystallized with a strong base chemical.

From June 27 - 28, 2022, EPA and START performed preliminary assessment/site investigation (PA/SI) sampling activities. START collected a total of four solid and liquid samples from various containers, including ASTs, 55-gallon drums, and 5-gallon containers. These samples were delivered to the EPA New England Regional Laboratory for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), pH, and flashpoint analyses.  During the PA/SI, personnel from the Town of East Millinocket identified 2 inactive electrical transformers on the mill property that will warrant further investigation during the proposed removal action to determine whether its contents contain polychlorinated biphenyls.


The June 2022 PA/SI sampling results have documented the presences of corrosive acids and bases, VOCs such as toluene and ignitable wastes with flashpoints below 60°C.  Based upon site conditions documented during the PA/SI and sampling results indicating presence of hazardous substances, the Site Investigation Closure Memorandum, dated August 23, 2022, recommends a time-critical removal action be performed to address the threat of release of hazardous substances from the Site.

For additional information, visit the Notices section.