State finds contamination at Agri-Cycle in Cambridge
The compost facility received paper mill sludge that was contaminated, according to the state.
Then the company spread the contamination through the area with its compost.
Resident Robert McIntosh said he was worried about the “environmental safety of the content of the paper sludge,” and he was joined by two other residents who expressed similar concerns.
The company makes compost by mixing the paper sludge with yard debris, Kip Foley said, according to minutes from the meeting.
So far, no water systems tested have had more than the federal limit in PFOA and PFOS contamination, but tests are ongoing.
The state has tested nine wells and began going door-to-door last week to ask owners to agree to tests.
It’s not clear which paper mill delivered contaminated sludge to the Agri-Cycle, or whether the sludge was contaminated after it left the paper mill.
The state is now checking sludge at six mills and six other facilities that use that sludge.
While the state regulates paper mills, it doesn’t yet routinely test for PFOA and PFOS at the mills, state officials said.
That led them to find well water with elevated PFOA in Cambridge, and eventually a property owner suggested they check to see if Agri-Cycle was the source, officials said.