Nutmeg Valley Road Site Still Protective, EPA Says

EPA has completed the first five-year review of the cleanup work that took place at the former Nutmeg Valley Road Superfund Site, in west-central Connecticut near the Wolcott/Waterbury town line.

This was the first five-year review since the sites removal from the National Priorities List (NPL) in 2005. EPA concluded that the preventative mechanisms were still in place and that the condition of the site is protective of human health and the environment.

Agency officials interviewed Wolcott Mayor Thomas Dunn, who certified that there continues to be full compliance with the local ordinance that prohibits all uses of groundwater in the area where elevated levels of manganese were detected. The mayor attributed the site's delisting, in large part, to the construction of a $2 million state-of-the-art greenhouse being built on Tosun Road.

The site consists of a dozen small manufacturing facilities, light industrial facilities, and repair shops over a 28-acre area in the southern section of Wolcott, along the border with Waterbury. Private wells contaminated with volatile organic compounds were first discovered by state and local health officials in 1979. In 1986, the Town of Wolcott extended a public water supply line into the area.

EPA placed the site on the NPL in March 1989. Early investigations focused on two machine shops on Nutmeg Valley Road with a known history of dumping waste oil and solvents onto the ground. The study area was expanded to 155 acres to include similar companies on Swiss Lane, Tosun Road, Wolcott Road, and Town Line Road.

In 1992, EPA removed 1,150 tons of sludge waste and contaminated soil from two unlined lagoons on Tosun Road. This action addressed the threats posed by the electroplating wastes in surface soils and removed a potential source of groundwater contamination.

Based on further studies from 1995 through 2002, EPA concluded that although some contaminants were detected in groundwater, there was no evidence of a widespread plume of contamination and levels of contaminants in much of the study area were decreasing over time through natural degradation processes. As a result, the study area was reduced in size to its current 28 acres. EPA has determined that existing state law and a local ordinance adopted in 2004 prohibiting the use of groundwater in the remaining area of groundwater contamination, when considered together, will ensure that human exposure is prevented.

Five-year reviews are mandated under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (Superfund). The next five-year review will be completed by September 2014.

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