Testing finds additional locations with contaminated soil in Fairfield, asbestos


FAIRFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) – The Town of Fairfield continues to track down potential soil contamination on town property. Lead, asbestos and PCBs have all been found in a fill pile at the Public Works Department, and the question remains – where did that soil end up?

Today, News 8 heard from Fairfield Ludlowe High School that soil on school grounds has tested positive for contaminants and will have to be cleaned up.

News 8 was there in August as crews took samples of the soil around Gould Manor Park. They were there because police arrested three men in in an alleged scheme to dump debris from Julian Construction in a pile of dirt and fill at the Public Works Department.

Related: ‘It’s just really unsettling’: Fairfield residents voice concerns over contaminated soil

In August, the First Selectman told us how the town ended up hiring an expert to test the pile.

“She actually watched a Julian truck come in, dump the soil,” said First Selectman Mike Tetreau, (D – Fairfield) at the time. “Tested that soil, and two weeks later it came back as contaminated, so we immediately shut down the yard.”

The trouble is, fill from that pile had already been used for projects all over town, things like a new sidewalk in Gould Manor Park. They found lead, PCBs, and asbestos in the main pile, but then they had to test all the project sites to see if the contaminants got spread around.

Related: Fairfield parks and fields are closed after testing finds contaminated soil

From the beginning, health officials said none of the contamination was bad enough to make people sick.

“You know, none of the results were above any levels where any of this would be considered hazardous waste,” said town Health Director Sands Cleary back in August.

After more weeks of testing, Fairfield has now reopened playscapes at 6 schools: Burr, Mill Hill, North Stratfield, Osborn Hill, Riverfield and Sherman.

Tetreau wrote in a press release that means all school fields and and town parks have been ruled safe to use for recreational purposes, but some areas did test above the stricter residential guidelines.

“Those areas where testing showed levels of contaminants marginally above the State residential guidelines will be cordoned off until any remediation work is completed. The same goes for the school fields,” Tetreau wrote.

There are 20 other places where fill from that pile was used – a culvert on Coral Drive, a sidewalk on Mill Hill Road, a gazebo at the senior center, but in almost all these cases, the soil and anything that’s in it is underneath asphalt or bricks where no one can get at it.

For a look at the complete list, click here.

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