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EPA Orders Cleanup Studies at Waterbury Superfund Site

Release Date: 03/20/2003
Contact Information: Alice Kaufman, EPA Community Involvement Office, 617-918-1064

Boston – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today ordered Saltire Industrial, Inc., Joseph Calabrese, Calabrese Construction Company, and Store Avenue Associates, LLC to conduct all necessary studies of potential contamination at the Scovill Industrial Landfill Superfund site in Waterbury, Connecticut. These studies include completing a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study that EPA began last fall. EPA expects that work will begin this fall, with results available in the spring of 2004.

"EPA gave these parties an opportunity to enter into an agreement voluntarily to carry out the site investigation studies," said Robert W. Varney, EPA regional administrator. "Issuing a unilateral order is the next step in seeing this site move forward and it is used against parties who do not willingly shoulder their responsibilities."

Studies will determine the type and extent of contamination and the potential environmental and health risks posed by contaminants at the site. EPA began the Remedial Investigation study last fall. Although various soil and air samples had been taken at the site prior to its addition to EPA's Superfund Program in August 2000, none of the soil samples had been taken from deeper than 24 inches, leaving gaps in what is known about the extent and type of contamination. Scheduled to take place in a series of phases, the investigation's first phase was performed by Foster Wheeler Environmental Corp., an EPA contractor.

"When the results are in from the first of these studies and we have a better understanding of what's on this site, EPA will hold a public meeting to discuss all findings with interested citizens," added Varney.

Saltire Industrial is a successor to Scovill Manufacturing Company which formerly owned the Scovill Industrial Landfill at the time of hazardous waste disposal. Calabrese is a former owner and operator at the time of disposal of hazardous substances at the site and is also a principal of Store Ave. Associates which is the present owner of a portion of the site. Calabrese Construction Company is a former operator at the site at the time when hazardous substances were disposed of at the site.

The Connecticut Department of Public Health determined that because most of the site is covered with pavement or grass, that no health risk currently exists to residents in the area.

EPA expects that all studies will be complete within three years and will, at that point, be able to decide on what, if any, cleanup needs to take place.

Located north of Meriden Road in Waterbury, CT, the former Scovill Industrial Landfill was used by the Scovill Manufacturing Company from 1919 until the mid-1970s for disposal of ash, cinder, and other wastes. Roughly 23 of the site's 30 acres have been developed with residential structures and small commercial buildings including a landscaping firm, daycare facility, social club, department store, cab service, medical office, car repair shop, and shopping plaza.

The remaining seven-acre parcel is undeveloped and was in the initial stages of development by Calabrese when industrial wastes were found. Construction on four of the seven-acres was halted and 2,300 tons of soil contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) and an additional18 capacitors were removed from the surface in the spring of 1998 by the CT Department of Environmental Protection. The area was temporarily covered with a foot of top soil, hydro-seeded, and then fenced and posted. In April 1999, EPA took soil samples between 0 to 24 inches deep from 57 locations throughout the 30-acre site and surrounding area. These samples showed elevated levels of organic chemicals; metals such as cadium, nickel, silver, and zinc; and PCBs. The site was added in August 2000 to EPA's National Priorities List (NPL - also known as Superfund, is a list of hazardous waste sites that are eligible for Federal funding to pay for extensive, long-term cleanup actions under the Superfund program)