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EPA Completes Environmental Cleanup in Waterbury, CT
Release Date: 10/09/2003
Contact Information: Alice Kaufman, EPA Community Involvement Office, 617-918-1064
Boston - The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it had completed a two year- $ 4 million cleanup at the Chase Brass and Copper site in Waterbury, CT.
From 1868 to 1976, the area had been used as a waste disposal area for process waste including metal turning waste and construction debris generated by the Chase Brass and Copper Company. The site was contaminated with heavy metals including lead, chromium, copper, zinc and nickel, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and asbestos.
Throughout the project EPA worked closely with local health officials, the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Trout Unlimited, US Army Corps of Engineers, and US Fish and Wildlife Service.
"I want to thank state and city officials for their input and commitment throughout this project," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator for EPA New England. "Working as a team we were able to flatten out the bumps in the road, common to any large project like this one. It was a great effort by all. We can now look forward to when the area will be open to the public to enjoy the banks of the Naugatuck River again."
"The city of Waterbury appreciates EPA's tireless efforts in funding and remediation of a site that once posed both a public health threat to our community and an environmental hazard to the Naugatuck River. Furthermore, DEP's support and the team's working approach in abating these hazards resulted in a win-win situation for all involved." said Dr. Dada N. Jabbour, Waterbury's director of Hazardous Materials.
EPA excavated and consolidated contaminated soil, debris, and river sediment, and placed the materials under a protective, engineered cap in an area on the site above the groundwater table. The cap system, designed by Weston Solutions, Inc., and constructed by EPA contractors, Shaw Environmental and Infrastructure, Inc, includes a drainage and erosion control system and soil cover. The riverbank was reinforced with rock riprap and a steep bank area was reinforced by planting grass seed to prevent erosion. All together EPA planted about one thousand plants, trees and shrubs as part of habitat and wildlife restoration efforts, which also included bird nesting boxes, fish shelters along the riverbank, and other vegetation to serve as food for migrating birds.
"It will be important now for the state to monitor the site to make sure the cap remains in good condition and that the plants continue to grow," said Janis Tsang, EPA on-scene coordinator. "The riverfront and habitat restoration part of the project turned out really well and will be left for citizens to enjoy for years to come."