Some PCBs remain at fill pile following cleanup

The bulk of the remediation of contaminated material at the Public Works fill pile is complete, although some additional cleanup is needed. Fairfield,CT. 7/20/17
The bulk of the remediation of contaminated material at the Public Works fill pile is complete, although some additional cleanup is needed. Fairfield,CT. 7/20/17File photo

FAIRFIELD — About 2,100 tons of contaminated material has been removed from the Public Works fill pile on Richard White Way, but subsequent testing showed some PCBs remained.

Connecticut Tank Removal, which bid $192,555 for the remediation job, removed the material from June 20 to 26 and trucked it to a certified facility in Pennsylvania. Follow-up testing showed not all of the PCB contamination had been removed to levels consistent with state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection standards.

Material will continue to be removed, and soil samples tested, though a time frame for that is not yet available. Once that is done, a final remediation report will be released.

According to Public Works Director Joseph Michelangelo, despite the additional work, the remediation project is still within budget.

“There was contingency in the amount approved, and the total funding is $289,146,” Michelangelo said. “The additional work, thus far, is within this and we have not exceeded the approved amount.”

The town has submitted plans for capping the site and constructing an earthen berm to the Town Plan and Zoning and Conservation departments. It will also be submitted to the state. The plan includes a raised bank of dirt that is 12 feet wide at the top, constructed with clean fill already at the site. It is estimated the berm will use about 42,000 cubic yards of material. All material will be tested prior to use.

The berm will be accessible to the public, and allow access to tidal waters and marshes in the area.

On the legal front, attorneys for Julian Development, the firm which had been charged with reducing the size of the fill pile, has requested a continuance for a pretrial conference, originally scheduled for this week. The town has filed suit against Julian, claiming breach of contract and seeking up to $3 million in compensation. Julian has filed a countersuit, claiming defamation by the town.

A court hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.