Wausau Paper/Groveton Paper Board Mill, Northumberland, NH, Northumberland, NH




Northumberland, NH

In 2007, Wausau Paper/Groveton Paper Board Mill, a 35-acre site located in the Village of Groveton in the Town of Northumberland, NH closed after nearly a century as a source of papermaking operations. Due to historical industrial use, the site had potential for a high risk of contamination and determined by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) and USEPA to be eligible for assessment as a Brownfields site.

Nobis was tasked by NHDES and North Country Council to conduct Brownfields assessments of the mill facility in light of the perceived environmental impacts at the site. The size, scope, environmental and physical conditions of the site, including the cold weather and the state of the site’s infrastructure presented many challenges. Buildings lacked heat and electricity, and targeted assessment areas included unlit and confined basement portions where access was limited. Performing drilling activities proved difficult and unique methods and materials were required to complete sampling on schedule and within budget. Multiple drilling crews were used simultaneously over several weeks of effort. A total of 25 soil borings were performed with many completed as monitoring wells. Soil and groundwater samples for laboratory analysis of multiple contaminants of concern, including volatile and semivolatile organic compounds, various metals, polychlorinated biphenyls, and dioxin.

The results of the investigation indicated relatively minimal environmental impact to soil and groundwater, relieving many concerns potential investors would have. The successful investigation paved the way for future redevelopment and relieved the concern of potential investors. Recently it has been announced that an investor has entered into a purchase and sale agreement with the intention for site redevelopment.

*This project won the 2012 ACEC NH Engineering Excellence Award in the Environmental category.

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