Officials say PCB levels decline at Osborn Hill after cleaning
Updated 12:56 pm, Friday, June 29, 2012
There has been "substantial progress" lowering PCB levels at Osborn Hill School, according to the most recent test results.
The report is posted on the Board of Education's website -- http://www.fairfieldschools.org/pop/hazard_popup.htm -- and says that following specialized cleaning at the elementary school on May 25, the airborne PCB levels in classroom 116 had fallen below the recommended limits set by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. The PCB levels in the hallway leading to the gym, however, remained slightly above the federally recommendated limits.
Classes at the elementary school ended for the academic year last week. Parents were notified of the test results via email.
In a June 12 memo to the school board and Supt. of Schools David Title, Sal Morabito, the school system's manager of construction, security and safety, said additional cleaning in the corridor area would be done as soon as possible, followed by more tests.
According to Morabito, both the EPA and the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection are aware of the test results, and that evacuation of the school was not necessary.
"Instead, they recommended that steps be taken to reduce exposure," Morabito's memo states.
Airborne PCBs were discovered in testing done in preparation to replace windows at the schools. Morabito said other possible sources of the PCBs, such as lighting fixtures, have been checked. The ventilation system will be examined in the next round of tests.
School officials expect to have a funding request for the windows by the fall, but the remediation plan must first be approved by the DEEP and the EPA.
According to Thomas Cullen, the schools' facilities manager, old oil burners being replaced at the school have asbestos in some of the materials.
The two boilers are being replaced under the town's non-recurring capital program at a cost of $294,000.
"Proper procedures will be followed to perform this project this summer," Cullen said.
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