Latest lead cleanup of Mill River ready to launch
FAIRFIELD -- Dredging more than 20,000 cubic yards of lead-contaminated soil from the Mill River is about to get underway now that a processing plant to clean the sediment has been installed on Exide's 6.25 acres on the Post Road.
TRC Environmental Corp. of Madison, Wisc., is doing the work for Exide, which is under orders from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, to clean up the river that was polluted by waste from Exide's now-closed battery factory over the years.
A public information meeting on the cleanup will be held Oct. 14 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Board of Education conference room, 501 Kings Highway East.
Pollution of the riverbed by the Exide factory, which was demolished in 2005, has been targeted for removal by state and local environmental officials several times over more than three decades. But earlier attempts have fallen short in completely eradicating the contamination.
As part of the preparations, TRC has installed floating turbidity meters -- yellow buoys with solar panels -- to collect water-quality data. The barge-mounted dredge will be moved upstream and positioned in the northern-most section of the Mill River site, with actual dredging expected to begin Oct. 15. The dredging is expected to take about 18 months, officials estimate.
Piping for the wastewater treatment plant has been installed, along with the dredge, support barge and equipment.
Exide had closed the battery plant in 1981, and the factory remained vacant on the Post Road site for about 25 years until it was demolished and lead-contaminated soil was removed. The land cleanup was done to residential standards.
The DEEP has information about the Mill River cleanup project on its website at http://1.usa.gov/1rTQf3X.
A fact sheet on the plans can be found at http://1.usa.gov/1reSpHR.