Soccer fields, playgrounds among sites to be tested for toxic fill
FAIRFIELD — Contaminated material may have made its way into local sports fields, playgrounds and swimming areas.
The town said it will add additional sites to the list as they are identified, but these 20 were identified as priorities because they are located on school properties or public parks.
This list includes all school grounds and sports fields that could have been affected.
On the list are 13 soccer fields, which were the subject of concern in 2015 Parks and Recreation Commission meetings after glass was discovered in fill on the fields.
Soccer fields to be tested are those at Burr School, Burroughs Park, Dwight Elementary School, Holland Hill, Jennings Elementary School, McKinley Elementary School, North Stratfield, Oldfield, Riverfield School, South Pine Creek, Town Hall, Tunxis Hill and Woods Middle School.
The list also mentions other sports facilities, including Dougiello Softball Field, Sullivan Football Fields, Old Dam Road’s tennis court and Woods Middle School’s little league field and parking lot.
Two playgrounds sites are on the list: the grass at Jennings Beach and the walkway to the lower playground at Mill Hill Elementary School.
The list also mentions conservation work at Lake Mohegan.
Last week, tests by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection revealed the presence of asbestos, lead and barium in Gould Manor Park, where the fill was used in a construction project in 2013 and 2014.
In a news release Friday, the town said the list was compiled by the Fairfield Department of Health and the licensed environmental professional firm Tighe & Bond, with consultation from DEEP and the state Department of Health.
According to the town, those state entitites did not recommend any restrictions on access to the sites, pending the outcome of additional environmental testing.
The list includes sites that used material from the fill pile between May 2013, when Julian began managing the pile, and December 2016, when hazardous material was detected and the site was shut down.
Since 2016, First Selectman Mike Tetreau said, the fill was used only to construct a landscape berm on the site.
Tighe & Bond will conduct soil sampling at the 20 sites next week. As detailed in the project’s testing protocol, if it is determined that a site needs remediation, it will be closed for the extent of the process.
The town said once a full list of sites is identified, it expects all testing to be completed in less than a month.
The town also attached a list of frequently asked questions and answers in Friday’s announcement.