2004 CPEO Brownfields List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: 3 May 2004 16:24:22 -0000
Reply: cpeo-brownfields
Subject: Dioxane at Connecticut Superfund Site
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Newly Identified Contaminant May Delay EPA's Plan for Surham
Meadows Superfund Site

By Denise Bellmore Steele
Town Times (CT)
April 30, 2004

Out of the approximately 100 Superfund sites on the National Priorities
List (NPL) in New England, 18 are in Connecticut?including one in
Durham. Usually the result of industrial waste, NPL Superfund sites
contain extensive contamination. The Durham Meadows Superfund Site
(Durham Meadows) has been under scrutiny by the EPA and the Connecticut
Department of Environment Protection (DEP) for many years. A primary
concern has been ground water contamination on and around Main Street.
Currently 36 residential wells in the area and the well at Frank Ward
Strong School have double carbon filters that effectively remove
contaminants, resulting in potable water for residents and students.

Throughout New England there have been approximately 2,800 Superfund
sites identified to date. In 1994, the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) published, "This Is Superfund," a pamphlet which provides
the following explanation for the magnitude of contamination we have
inherited: "Years ago, people did not understand how certain wastes
might affect people's health and the environment. Many wastes were
dumped on the ground, in rivers or left out in the open ? as a result,
thousands of uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites were
created. Some common sites include abandoned warehouses, manufacturing
facilities, processing plants and landfills."

Both the DEP and the EPA work to ensure public safety by overseeing the
maintenance of residential well filters and the quarterly testing of
filtered water. Less frequent testing is conducted of the unfiltered or
"raw" water. The filters at Strong School are maintained and the water
tested quarterly by Regional School District 13, with periodic
supplemental testing by the state.

New Contaminant Recently Identified

In December 2003 and January 2004 the EPA detected "1,4-Dioxane" (not to
be confused with "Dioxin") in some wells at the site during a limited
sampling. Until recently, detecting this compound in small doses, such
as those found in these residential wells, was not technically feasible.
Animals exposed to high doses of 1,4-Dioxane for a large portion of
their lives developed malignant nasal, liver and bladder tumors in studies.


for the entire story, see


Lenny Siegel
Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
c/o PSC, 278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918

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