Sealed documents in Fairfield dumping case confirm soil tests
Court documents released Tuesday confirmed Fairfield tested its public works pile for contamination between 2016 and 2018.
Previously sealed search warrant affidavits state that Osprey Environmental Engineering of Clinton was hired by the Fairfield Department of Public Works in December 2016 to test soil dumped by Julian Enterprises on the town’s property on Richard White Way.
This information had already been available on the town’s website. It was not immediately clear why the documents had been sealed at the request of the prosecution. The sealing, attributed by the prosecution to an ongoing investigation, expired Tuesday.
At various times from 2016 to 2018, Osprey submitted records to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection regarding the dumping by Julian Enterprises, the affidavits state.
“Said records relate to the presence of contaminated materials at the site and relate to potential contaminants in the soil and/or waters at the site,” the affidavits state.
The town had previously stated that Osprey was hired to test the soil on site and construct a landscape berm around it after the site was shut down, due to the presence of PCBs and lead found there in 2016.
Joseph Michelangelo, who served as the town’s public works director since 2012, is accused of conspiring with Scott Bartlett, the town’s superintendent of public works and Jason Julian to allow the company to dump truckloads of contaminated waste into the pile.
The three, who are awaiting trial, have pleaded not guilty to illegal dumping and kickback charges.
Julian then resold some of the contaminated soil as clean fill for construction projects in the town. After testing 60 sites at parks, fields and playgrounds, the town identified seven areas that need to be cleaned up.
Cleanup has begun at two town parks, and planning is in the works for five more sites - three of which are at local elementary schools.
Removing the materials, including arsenic and asbestos, is expected to cost the town millions.
State Rep. Brenda Kupchick recently defeated incumbent First Selectman Mike Tetreau for the town’s highest office, making the contamination scandal part of her campaign, saying Tetreau’s administration should have known earlier about the contaminated dirt and should have had more oversight of the DPW.
Tetreau has said the town has been proactive in testing and cleanup since the scandal broke.
Neither Kupchick nor Tetreau immediately responded to a request for comment.