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Settlement Reached at Callahan Mine Superfund Site in Brooksville, Maine

Contact Information: 
Emily Bender (

BOSTON - A settlement has been reached that will facilitate the cleanup of the Callahan Mine Superfund Site in Brooksville, Maine. The agreement is between the U.S. EPA, U.S. Department of Justice, the State of Maine, and site property owner Smith Cove Preservation Trust (Smith Cove).

The settlement resolves federal and state liability claims against Smith Cove, a non-profit Maine corporation.  Under the settlement, Smith Cove will permit EPA and the Maine Dept. of Environmental Protection (Maine DEP) to use "borrow material," such as soil, sand, silt, clay, gravel and boulders, located on Smith Cove's property, for use in implementing the site cleanup selected in the 2009 Record of Decision (ROD). Among other benefits, the ability of EPA and Maine DEP to use borrow material for the Site's response actions will eliminate several thousand trips of heavy truck traffic on local roads leading to the site's coastal, rural setting on the Cape Rosier peninsula.

The settlement also provides EPA and Maine DEP with permanent access rights over the property to perform and monitor the environmental response. The settlement implements institutional controls which will support long-term protection of human health and the environment by protecting the environmental response that has been and will be performed at the site.

"Reaching this settlement is good news for the community of Brooksville," said EPA Regional Administrator Curt Spalding. "It allows the site cleanup to move forward, and promotes continued protection of public health in the area."

The Callahan Mine Superfund Site is located in Harborside Village in the Town of Brooksville, Maine. The site is the former location of a zinc/copper open-pit mine. The mining operations were conducted adjacent to and beneath Goose Pond, a tidal estuary. The major mining operations occurred from 1968-1972, although there were some limited mining activities from 1881 to 1887. During the mining operations, Goose Pond was drained to allow for the excavation of the rock and ore. After the mining operations ended in 1972, the dam at Goose Falls was opened, flooding the mine site. The site includes the former Mine Operations Area, three Waste Rock Piles, a Tailings Impoundment, a Residential Use Area, Goose Pond (including the submerged former Mine Pit), and Goose Cove. There are three operable units for the Site.

The overall cleanup for Operable Unit 1 (OU1) and Operable Unit 3 (OU3) are based upon the 2009 ROD as revised by the 2013 Explanation of Significant Differences for OU1 and OU3. Cleanup work for OU1 is completed and included the cleanup of the arsenic, lead, and thallium contamination in the Residential Use Area and the polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination in the former Mine Operations Area along with the removal of the waste rock from the Ore Pad Area. The waste rock from the Residential Use Area and the waste rock from the Ore Pad were consolidated to the Tailings Impoundment for placement under the Tailings Impoundment cover system. OU3 includes stabilizing and capping of the Tailing Impoundment and excavation and removal of sediments and soils from the salt marsh and southern portion of Goose Pond and placement in an on-site confined aquatic disposal cell. The design for the stabilization and capping of the Tailings Impoundment is completed while the design for the sediment removal is ongoing. Operable Unit 2 (OU2) includes the evaluation of the groundwater at the site, for which a cleanup approach will be developed in the future.

The agreement is subject to a 30-day public comment period, which will begin on the date notice of the proposed settlement is published in the Federal Register.

More information on the Callahan Mine Superfund Site (