WILTON — The owner of a former mill contaminated with asbestos said he expects to hire a company this week to continue the cleanup.

“We are in negotiations with an asbestos removal company that’s licensed and hope that we’ll have that contract signed this week,” said Adam Mack, whose Wilton Recycling owns the property.

The former Forster Mill site on Depot Street has been the focus of enforcement efforts by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection since last summer, when agents first found asbestos, a substance that can cause lung cancer.

Officials have called the mill one of the worst asbestos sites in the state.

Mack didn’t name the asbestos removal company that he is negotiating with, but Abatement Professionals of Westbrook was in talks with him last week, company president Bob Rickett said.

Abatement Professionals did some work on the site last year and has a lien on the property for $75,000 owed for that work.

Mack said that he is negotiating separately with a demolition company to do work on the site after the asbestos contamination has been remediated successfully.

“One will clean up the asbestos, and then we’ll take down the clean building,” Mack said.

Contractor Ryan Blyther, of Scarborough, was performing demolition work on the property and faces $154,200 in fines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for workplace safety violations. Blyther was sentenced to six months in prison for stealing money in an unrelated building project.

Both Mack and Blyther are subject to enforcement action by federal and state environmental agencies, which could include additional fines.

Samantha Depoy-Warren of the state environmental department has said that enforcement actions to date have been focused on having the site cleaned up.

A small amount of work, mostly to limit the public’s exposure to the asbestos, was done on the site during the first week of July.

If the federal agency finds that work on the site is not progressing adequately, it could hire a contractor at Mack’s expense.

Matt Hongoltz-Hetling — 861-9287

[email protected]

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