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WMS Fields Update: Soil Sample Analysis Continues to Identify Scope of Remediation
WMS Fields Update: Soil Sample Analysis Continues to Identify Scope of Remediation

Environmental testing of the Western Middle School (WMS) fields is ongoing and the Town's environmental consultant (Langan) continues to evaluate the extent of PCB-impacted soil at the fields.

June 2018 Update

Environmental testing of the WMS fields is ongoing and Langan continues to evaluate the extent of impacted soil at the fields. Pursuant to recent discussions with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CTDEEP), the State Department of Public Health (DPH), and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); additional characterization sampling (including groundwater sampling) will be performed at the school over the summer.

Greenwich Public Schools (GPS) and Langan are committed to developing the proper framework for completing remediation. Following site characterization activities, Langan will develop remediation work plans for the fields that will likely include the following:

  • Development and execution of action plans for the protection of students, faculty, on-site workers, community, and the environment during soil disturbance activities;
  • Excavation and off-site disposal of soils;
  • Placement of a highly visible demarcation barrier (e.g. orange snow fencing) between residual site material and imported certified clean backfill material; and
  • Backfilling of remedial excavation areas to grade with imported certified clean fill
Once the Remedial Action Plan has been drafted, it will be submitted to the regulatory agencies for review and concurrence. The time frame for approval and implementation of the plan is based on the review schedules for USEPA and CTDEEP and any additional requests these agencies may have.

GPS will continue to provide updates to the community as new results and information become available.

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Western Middle School Fields Project Background

In the summer of 2016, soil samples were collected from the WMS fields that detected concentrations of environmental constituents that exceeded the Connecticut CTDEEP Residential Direct Exposure Criteria (RDEC) in portions of the fields. Although concentrations of the constituents identified exceeded the RDEC, they did not exceed Federal or State regulatory thresholds requiring immediate reporting or action at that time. However, after initial consultation with the Town and State Departments of Public Health, the fields were closed as a precautionary measure. Subsequent evaluation of the soils under the field completed in November 2016 identified concentrations of PCBs above CT's RDEC of 1 mg/kg at three grid locations on the field. At one of the three locations, soil samples were reported to contain concentrations of PCBs above the CT significant environmental hazard (SEH) threshold of 15 mg/kg (15x the RDEC) and above the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reporting threshold of 50 mg/kg. These findings required consultation with the EPA and initiated ongoing sampling and analysis in order to fully delineate the site to understand the extent of the impacted soil.

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Glossary of Terms

CTDEEP: Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (State regulatory agency)

CTDPH: Connecticut Department of Public Health (State regulatory agency)

USEPA: United States Environmental Protection Agency (Federal regulatory agency)

RSRs: CTDEEP Remediation Standard Regulations

PCBs: Polychlorinated Biphenyls are a man-made organic chemical consisting of carbon, hydrogen, and chlorine atoms. Due to their non-flammability, chemical stability and electric insulating properties, PCBs were used in hundreds of industrial and commercial applications from 1929 until manufacturing was banned in 1979. USEPA has concluded that PCBs are a probable human carcinogen.

RDEC: The Residential Direct Exposure Criteria are numerical concentrations of a given chemical, deemed to be protective of human health and the environment in a residential or school use scenario, per the CTDEEP. The RDEC for PCBs is 1 mg/kg.

SEH: Significant Environmental Hazard is a Connecticut General Statute that identifies a series of conditions that could pose potential short-term risk from exposure to pollution. The SEH threshold for PCBs is 15 mg/kg.

TSCA: Toxic Substances Control Act is a Federal law that provides the USEPA with the authority to regulate reporting, recordkeeping, testing, and restrictions related to chemical substances and/or mixtures, including PCBs. The TSCA threshold for PCBs is 50 mg/kg.

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For More Information:

Visit the GPS website at www.greenwichschools.org/wmsfields.

Inquiries should be directed to Kim Eves, Greenwich Public Schools Director of Communications, at kim_eves@greenwich.k12ct.ct.us or 203-625-7415.

About Langan: www.langan.com

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