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EPA and CT DEP To Test Wells Near Durham Meadows Site

Release Date: 06/07/04
Contact Information: Contact: Andrew Spejewski, EPA Press Office, (617) 918-1014

For Immediate Release: June 7, 2004; Release # 04-06-04

BOSTON -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced they will be sampling about 80 private wells near the Durham Meadows Superfund site to test for 1,4- Dioxane. The chemical has been found at a limited number of wells in the area at concentrations considered unlikely to cause a health threat by Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH). The testing beginning Monday, June 7, 2004, will further determine the extent of the chemical in groundwater.

1,4- Dioxane is a chemical used as a solvent and stabilizer for common industrial solvents associated with the groundwater contamination located in the Main Street area.. It is not related to 'dioxin', a different class of chemicals. While 1,4- Dioxane is classified by EPA as a probable human carcinogen based on limited animal studies, there is little information to directly link 1,4-Dioxane to cancer in humans.

Sampling of a limited number of wells in the Durham area in December 2003 identified 1,4- Dioxane for the first time. The contaminant was found in wells that were already being filtered and monitored for other contaminants. The highest level found in treated drinking water does not warrant immediate action, but does require follow-up monitoring on a regular basis. EPA, CT DEP and CT DPH will closely monitor all test results and recommend action as necessary, which may potentially include continued, regular monitoring for 1,4-Dioxane.

The Durham Meadows Superfund Site is an area of contaminated groundwater centered on Main Street in Durham, Conn. Volatile organic compounds, believed to come from two manufacturing facilities on Main Street, have contaminated the aquifer that supplies domestic well water. Under a DEP order, 38 wells have been fitted with carbon filters to remove contaminants and are regularly monitored.

Related Information:
Durham Meadows Superfund Fact Sheet
1,4 Dioxane Fact Sheet This is a PDF document.