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Western Middle School Fields

Western Middle School Fields Environmental Testing

Project Summary: In the summer of 2016, environmental soil samples were collected from the WMS fields resulting in 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). PCBs were also determined to be above the concentrations allowed under the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and its implementing PCB regulations. These findings required consultation with the EPA. Since 2016, environmental testing of the WMS fields has been ongoing and has included continued consultation with CTDEEP, CTDPH, and EPA. To date, over 550 soil samples have been collected across the fields (to depths of 10 feet) to evaluate the extent of impacts at the athletic fields to help design an appropriate remedy for the site.

During the Spring of 2020, GPS joined the voluntary program for a Remediation Action Plan and has been working with both DEEP and EPA. During the summer of 2020, more testing was conducted across the field, and additional water sampling was conducted with newly installed monitoring wells, and an on-site visit was held. The soil analytical results were good and did not contain material above regulatory standards. The GPS team is working together with EPA and DEEP towards a final solution for the fields.

Project Update

The Senior Project Manager last updated GPS on the Western Middle School soil remediation project on March 2, 2022. The additional soil borings have been completed and soil samples were collected, as requested by the State during the February meeting. The new groundwater monitoring wells and soil vapor probes were installed during the last week in February.

The project continues to move forward with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), utilizing the existing funding source. There is continuing testing on the outside perimeter of the property. Once an approved timeline has been granted, the project will be presented to the elected bodies to move swiftly. Another round of testing was requested in and around the property line area (beyond the field itself) and those results yielded more contaminated soil. The cost is currently estimated between $15,000,000-$20,000,000 due to the additional removal which will be required. The final plan and estimates are currently being prepared for submission to DEEP and EPA following the last round of testing samples.