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Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England

Roosevelt Drive Oil Site

EPA responded in the summer of 1994 to an oil sheen on the Housatonic River, apparently coming from 140 Roosevelt Drive, at the former Hull Dye facility in Derby, Conn. The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection hired a contractor to conduct the cleanup at the facility, which houses two electricity producing turbines. The turbines are powered by water from a canal fed by the Housatonic River. Later that year, contractors began to excavate soil and river sediment saturated with oil. A trench and recovery well were installed to catch any remaining oil heading towards the river. This containment system has been operating continuously since that time and the turbines continued to operate and produce power on an intermittent basis.

In 1999, another oil sheen seen on the river was traced back to this facility. A subsequent investigation showed the oil was coming from a leak in a faulty line between a 20,000-gallon underground tank and a pump-house. At that time, EPA and DEP asked the owner of the turbines to shut them down as the vibration and water movement seemed to be exacerbating the flow of oil.

A second oil recovery system was designed and installed in August 2000 consisting of five recovery wells tied into in a deep trench. The system has been operating since then and has recovered about 160,000 gallons of oil and an oil/water mix. Since oil has continued to leach into the facility's tailrace (the water discharge point), contractors installed a sandbag a dam to separate the facility's tailrace from the Housatonic River in early 2007. The tailrace was thoroughly cleaned so contractors could determine where the oil was leaching from. An oil skimmer was installed later that year within the tailrace to continuously skim oil off of the water surface.

For the last several years, EPA has been working with an engineer to determine if a horizontal well or wells can be installed under the facility and to design a final oil collection system. A report from the engineer indicated a well would successfully draw subsurface oil away from the tailrace and into a collection system. The engineer has designed a well and temporary collection vessel and EPA's cleanup contractor will soon put the construction work for the well out to bid. After the well is installed and operating, a final collection system will be designed based on the volume of discharge and the existing oil collection systems will be eventually shut down. The goal of this work is to control the oil and keep it out of the river, while letting the facility once again generate electricity.

Location: 140 Roosevelt Drive, Derby, Conn.
EPA Mobilization Date*: Aug. 25, 1994
EPA Demobilization Date*: Ongoing
Contact: Claudia Deane (deane.claudia@epa.gov)

*The information contained on this website is merely informational; any dates found on the website cannot be relied upon to create any rights, substantive or procedural, enforceable by any party in litigation with the United States. EPA reserves the right to change such dates at any time without public notice.

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