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Release Date: 06/24/1997
Contact Information: Frank Gardner, On-Scene Coordinator, (617) 573-5722 Liza Judge, Community Involvement, (617) 918-1067

BOSTON -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently removed 3,061 tons of PCB and lead-contaminated soil from the Angelillo Property Site in Southington, Conn.

EPA soil sampling found polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at levels as high as 1,000 mg/kg and lead at 6,800 mg/kg. Although the site was vacant, it was only partly fenced and littered with trash and debris that suggested frequent trespassing. Several homes abut the site.

The high levels of lead and PCBs posed a threat to trespassers and children who could play in the contaminated soil, getting it on their hands and clothing. In addition, the contamination posed a threat of seeping into the ground water.

"We worked hard to create as little disturbance as possible for neighbors," said John P. DeVillars, EPA-New England regional administrator. "Although the contamination was more widespread than originally anticipated, the cleanup went smoothly. Throughout the excavation, our sampling confirmed that the work was done safely without spreading contamination."

An EPA crew began to excavate the contaminated soil in October, continuing into early March. Although the digging was originally expected to last for two to three months, additional soil contamination was found on four of the neighboring residential properties. This was the result of contamination that migrated from the original site and doubled the amount of soil removed.

The EPA excavation required removal of one foot of soil from most of the site and as deep as two feet in some areas. In total, the EPA removed 110 truckloads and replaced it with clean soil. The contaminated soil was taken to facilities in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and New York for treatment and proper disposal.

Seven drums and two cylinders of hazardous chemicals were also found during the excavation and removed from the site. The EPA covered the five properties with 1,600 cubic yards of clean topsoil, and planted grass seed. The EPA spent $1,035,000 to complete the work.

Under order from the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection the late site owner, Edward Angelillo, sampled soil and groundwater at the site from 1989 to 1991. After Mr. Angelillo's death, the CT DEP continued to investigate conditions at the site and then brought the site to the EPA's attention.

The Angelillo Scrap Metal Company operated from the late 1970s until 1985 buying and selling scrap metal on the 2.3 acre lot. The company, at 61C Buckland Street between Buckland Street and Old Turnpike Road, accepted electrical transformers containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and drums previously used to store solvents, sludges, and paint wastes. Reportedly, the residual chemicals in these containers were emptied directly onto the bare ground, resulting in contamination of soil at the site.