EPA Assessment Report

Final EPA Assessment Report on the Abbott Trust Site (Lot J104-2) is Available
Posted on 03/28/2023

Abbott lot mapIn 2021 the Wilton Economic Development Team helped secure a Brownfield Study grant from the NRPC to involve the NH Department of Environmental Services in doing an assessment of Lot J104-2, commonly known as the Abbott Memorial Trust site. This site was long known to have spent sodium cyanide buried in drums and furnace boxes, encased in concrete. Since this site is in a prime location at the intersection of Main Street and Burns Hill Rd (see map), the team wanted to know if it could be a location for a future Riverwalk pavilion, and if our protected rivers were in any danger.

As a result of their assessment completed in October of 2021, the NH DES requested the assistance of the U.S. EPA in doing a further analysis, to determine if any immediate action needed to be taken. The EPA conducted this work in August and September of 2022 and published their final report in February of this year.  To quote from the report:

“The surface water and soil analysis determined that none of the samples exceeded NH DES Soil Remediation Standards or the EPA Removal Management Levels for Residential or Industrial Soil for cyanide. At this time, there are no known threats to public health or welfare of the United States or the environment. If the suspected vault is disturbed by some other factor, e.g. construction in the immediate area, earthquake or other act of God, a reassessment may be necessary”.

After the Wilton Select Board reviewed the final report in March of this year, they requested that all relevant historic information about the site be gathered and posted in one place on the website, to help facilitate long term monitoring of the site.

This library of relevant document and reports can be found here: https://www.wiltonnh.gov/government/boards_and_committees/select_board/abbott_trust_lot_j-104_assessment

While there is no contamination of the site at present, there is another complication that would prevent any future use of the site, which is the question of ownership. The site is officially owned by the E.J. Abbott Memorial Trust, but this trust has been dissolved, and no taxes on the property have been paid for many years. However, if the Town were to take ownership of the lot, any future environmental hazards from the buried cyanide would be the town’s responsibility. For these reasons, along with the fact that the site is at a noisy, busy intersection, the Wilton Economic Development Team has shifted the site for a potential Riverwalk pavilion to the back of the police parking lot, adjacent to the end of the Riverwalk.

For further questions or information, please reach out to Town Administrator Nick Germain at [email protected] or (603) 654-3299.

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