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EPA Begins Cleanup of Abandoned Metal Plating Shop in Bridgeport

Release Date: 01/04/2002
Contact Information: Andrew Spejewski, EPA Press Office, (617- 918-1014)

BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today it has begun a cleanup of the former Progressive Plating facility in Bridgeport, Conn. The site, formerly used as a metal plating shop, contains abandoned containers of cyanides, metals, acids, and bases. EPA has already secured the site from trespassers and EPA contractors will be identifying and removing all toxic or hazardous materials for proper disposal.

"It's important that we take care of this problem quickly because of the potential exposure of the people in the neighborhood," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator for EPA's New England office.

Noting that urban neighborhoods often bear the brunt of greater public health and environmental threats, Varney added, "We owe it to inner-city neighborhoods such as this one to get these kinds of hazards cleaned up sooner rather than later. Thanks to strong cooperation between the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Bridgeport officials, and EPA, we're going to get the job done as soon as possible."

The former Progressive Plating facility is a one-story building at 80 Hastings Street in Bridgeport. The site was used by Progressive Plating Technologies, Inc. for the electroplating of metal parts with cadmium, nickel, and zinc until fall 2001, when the company shut down operations and left the site unoccupied. Containers of hazardous substances remain in the building, including toxics such as cyanides and metal solutions, and hazardous materials such as acids and bases which pose a risk of fire or explosion. The site is abandoned and without electricity, heat, water, or fire protection utilities.

The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Bridgeport Fire Department have been monitoring the situation and have inventoried the hazardous materials present. In November, the DEP requested EPA's assistance with the site. The DEP and the fire department are providing logistical support for EPA at the site.

This week, EPA secured the site and today is preparing the building for removal activities, which will commence next week. Removal activities will include sampling and characterizing the hazardous substances present, consolidating and repackaging containers as needed, and disposing hazardous substances at approved off-site disposal and recycling facilities. If EPA identifies hazardous substances which are usable products in good condition, EPA will seek to return such products to the manufacturer or another secure facility for re-use. The cleanup is expected to take three to four months and to cost approximately $1 million.