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EPA Approves Cleanup Plan for Solvents Recovery Services of New England in Southington

Release Date: 10/11/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: Sheryl Rosner (, EPA Office of Public Affairs, (617) 918-1865

For Immediate Release: October 11, 2005; Release # sr051007

BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved a comprehensive cleanup plan to address contamination at the Solvents Recovery Services of New England Superfund Site (SRSNE) on Lazy Lane in Southington, CT.

EPA announced the chosen plan in a document called the Record of Decision (ROD) on September 30.

The cleanup plan selected by EPA is projected to cost approximately $29 million and includes heating, capturing, and treating waste oils and solvents in the subsurface; excavating, consolidating and capping contaminated soil and wetland soil onsite; and continuing to pump and treat contaminated groundwater. There will also be restrictions on uses of the site property and groundwater, and long term monitoring of the cap and groundwater to ensure that the cleanup remains protective of human health and the environment for the future.

"This comprehensive plan demonstrates EPA's commitment to protecting the health and welfare of the citizens of Southington,"said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England Office. “The cleanup plan moves us closer to getting part of the property back into active use, will improve the quality of the Quinnipiac River and the nearby wetlands, and restore this important aquifer to drinking water standards for area residents."

The Record of Decision also takes into consideration an evaluation of public comments received on the proposed cleanup plan, which was released in May 2005. EPA received 9 written and 4 verbal comments on the proposed cleanup plan from community members, town leaders, and several potentially responsible parties (PRPs) who will be required to fund or perform the cleanup. Responses to comments received during the public comment period can be found in the Responsiveness Summary which is Part 3 of the Record of Decision.

A copy of the Record of Decision along with other technical documents related to the site is available for review at the Southington Public Library, 469 Main Street Southington, and the EPA Records Center at 1 Congress Street in Boston, hours: M - F, 10 am to 5 pm. The Record of Decision is also be available on EPA New England's website:

From 1955 to 1991, Solvents Recovery Service operated as a spent solvent processing and reclamation facility at the Lazy Lane site. Millions of gallons of waste solvents and oils were handled, stored and processed at the facility. Past operating practices, such as the use of lagoons and a leach field, contributed to contamination at SRS and surrounding properties. Poor housekeeping from a variety of practices, including the unloading and loading of tank trucks, the transfer of spent solvents to storage tanks, as well as the improper handling and storage of drums, resulted in numerous leaks and spills to the bare ground and into the underlying aquifer.

The presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in drinking water forced the closing of the Town of Southington's Production Well No. 4 in 1976, and Production Well No. 6 in 1979. Subsequent environmental investigations revealed that SRSNE was a major source of VOC contamination to the groundwater in this area.

From 1983 to 1988, EPA and the State of Connecticut took enforcement actions to compel SRSNE to cleanup the facility and its operations. SRSNE failed to comply with these enforcement efforts. In 1992, EPA removed soil contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from a drainage ditch along the eastern side of the Operations Area. Chemicals stored on site were also removed.

From 1995 to 2005, the Potentially Responsible Parties' Group (businesses and individuals that sent waste material to SRSNE) installed and operated a groundwater and containment system for the overburden and bedrock aquifers. The combined system has extracted and treated over 85 million gallons of contaminated groundwater to date and has removed an estimated 12,500 pounds of VOCs. In addition, they have completed various investigations and studies, constructed a wetland in the flood plain of the Quinnipiac River adjacent to the site, and decontaminated, demolished and removed all the original buildings and tanks in the former operations areas of the site.

Related Information:
Air Enforcement
Clean Air Act