Potentially contaminated Fairfield parks and fields closed pending test results
FAIRFIELD — Fields and parks potentially affected by the toxic Public Works pile have been closed pending test results.
Parks and Recreation have closed parks on the town’s initial list of 20 sites, and Fairfield Public Schools have closed all school fields on the list, as well as others they have decided to test independently.
This marks a departure from the town’s original plan to leave all sites open pending results from soil samples currently being conducted. Officials said the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and state Department of Health had not recommended site closures.
Parks and Recreation Director Anthony Calabrese announced Wednesday that the department would close the fields under its jurisdiction, citing Tuesday’s test results from Gould Manor Park.
He said that the decision was made in consultation with First Selectman Mike Tetreau out of “an abundance of caution” following indications of elevated levels of arsenic, lead and asbestos in the park’s sidewalk area.
Pending test results, the department has closed the following fields: Burroughs Soccer Field, Dougiello Softball Field, Oldfield Soccer Field, South Pine Creek Soccer Field, Sullivan Football Field, Town Hall Soccer Field and Lower Tunxis Hill Soccer and Baseball Field.
Calabrese said that these sites will remain closed until their test results come back, and the Parks and Recreation Department will reach out directly to any group with a permit in place on those sites.
Superintendent of Schools Mike Cummings announced Wednesday that potentially affected school fields would also be closed pending test results.
Additionally, as a precautionary measure, the district has expanded on the town’s testing schedule and closed school fields not on the town’s list. It will test these sites independently from the town.
“In the interest of student and staff safety, now is the time to ensure that all fields are safe to use,” Cummings wrote in an update to the community.
Cummings said that the fields will remain closed when the school year begins on Aug. 29, and adjustments will be made to accomodate physical education and athetlics.
The school district will follow a similar testing procedure to the one outlined by the town, in consultation with the same licensed environmental professional Tighe & Bond.
The district has closed the following fields on the original list: Burr Soccer Field, Dwight Soccer Field, Holland Hill Soccer Field, Jennings Soccer Field, McKinley Soccer Field, North Stratfield Soccer Field, Riverfield Soccer Field, Woods Middle School Soccer Field and Mill Hill’s lower playground grass.
In addition, it has closed: Dwight Softball Field, Ludlowe Front Field, Practice Field and Softball Field, Warde Front Field, Practice Field and Softball Field, Woods Middle School Baseball Field, Osborn Hill Softball Field, Roger Ludlowe Soccer Field, Roger Sherman Soccer Field and Softball Field and Statfield Space Field.
Below is an updated map of testing sites, indicating closure and remediation status. Sites with green labels are open, sites with yellow labels are closed pending test results and sites in red are closed for remediation.