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Release Date: 10/12/2000
Contact Information: Alice Kaufman, EPA Community Affairs Office, (617) 918-1064

Boston - EPA has set aside $580,000 to clean up an abandoned industrial site in Hartford, CT. Located at 76-80 Pliny Street, the 1.6 acre site former chromium plating facility has been abandoned since 1994 and has been found to be contaminated with chromium.

Due to the poor structural state of the buildings left at the site, the city of Hartford obtained an Emergency Authorization Order to demolish the buildings this past summer. Using contractors, the city demolished the four interconnected brick buildings, during which puddles of discolored water were noticed below the sub-floors. The city notified the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) who instructed the city to remove the puddles and cover the contaminated areas with clean soil, then plastic sheeting, until further assessments could be done.

"Abandoned properties are more than just eyesores," said Mindy S. Lubber, EPA New England regional administrator. "This site is close to a residential neighborhood and people who may traverse the area are most likely oblivious to the risks they face from contamination. These are not chemicals to take lightly. Exposure to lead can cause neurological damage, especially in young children, and chromium can cause a number of respiratory, skin and other problems. Our first step in the cleanup is making sure that people don't have access to the site where they can come in contact with contaminated soils."

DEP determined the cleanup to be substantial and faced with limited resources, the agency in early August of this year, asked EPA New England for assistance in cleaning up the site. EPA conducted further sampling and analyses before determining the steps needed to secure the site.

As part of the cleanup efforts, EPA will:

    • Secure the site to prevent unauthorized access. This may include repairing or upgrading existing fences as needed. Once EPA begins work at the site, the agency will provide security service during non-working hours to ensure adequate site surveillance.
    • Conduct a detailed site study to determine the extent of contamination. Depending on the findings from that study, EPA may excavate and dispose of additional contaminated soils and/or construct a protective cap over the area to ensure that people do not come in contact with contaminated soils.
"I expect that work will begin this October which will take approximately two months to complete," said Tom Hatzopoulos, EPA's site manager, called an on-scene coordinator