The former owner of the Holtrachem factory in Orrington has petitioned the US Supreme court to overturn a lower court ruling requiring the company to pay for a study of mercury contamination in the Penobscot river.
According to the EPA:
":Although there is soil contamination within the immediate area of the plant, the contamination does not pose a direct risk to residents. The groundwater beneath the manufacturing plant is contaminated with mercury and other contaminants and it primarily discharges into the Penobscot River. Sentry wells serve as a safeguard to track movement of contaminated groundwater. As we discussed on April 12, control of the remaining uncollected groundwater will be a major focus of clean-up actions at the site. In the interim, since noone is drinking the water, or otherwise directly exposed to it, it poses no direct risk to residents.":
The St. Louis based compant, which is part of Tyco International has been involved in a multi-phase cleaup of the Penobscot river site. Holtrachem has been continuously fighting a July 2002 court order that required them to pay for the downstream cleanup of mercury in the Penobscot.