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What are they doing in Corinna at the cleanup site?

If you have driven through Corinna in the last few weeks you’ve seen the big green tanks and the fences around the remaining Eastland Woolen Mill cleanup areas in the village. I talked about this with Ed Hathaway, the project director from the EPA, and with the field scientists doing the work.

This is part of the work to reduce the contamination that is still deep in the bedrock at those sites.

There is natural bacteria in the bedrock that will break the contamination down into compounds that are not harmful. But, the process is normally very slow because there isn’t much oxygen deep in the bedrock for the bacteria to live on.

They are adding more oxygen into the bedrock to speed up the natural breakdown of the contamination. The extra oxygen, basically in the form of strong hydrogen peroxide, similar to what you can buy at a store, will help the natural bacteria in the bedrock work faster.

They take water out of the wells and store it in the big tanks. They mix in the chemicals that increase the oxygen. Then the water is pumped back down into the wells. The chemical is not released into the stream. It all goes down into the wells and the bedrock below, some as deep as 300 feet down.