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EPA orders Connecticut manufacturer to clean up site

Release Date: 12/18/2003
Contact Information: Alice Kaufman, EPA Community Involvement Office, 617-918-1064

Boston - The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency today ordered a Haddam, Connecticut corporation to perform all necessary monitoring, testing and analysis to develop a cleanup plan for its property. The Sibley Company on Bridge St. generated wastes that contained toxic substances during its electroplating and etching processes in the manufacturing of printed circuit boards. Groundwater on and near the site has been found to be contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOC).

For a number of years, Sibley has been providing drinking water to residences on Haddam Bridge Street where groundwater has been found to be contaminated with VOCs. The homes in this area of town are not part of the municipal water supply system, therefore resident's drinking water comes from private wells that tap into the groundwater.

EPA believes that chlorinated solvents were released to the ground at the Sibley facility that then filtered through the soils to cause contamination of groundwater on the site. It is also possible that this contamination has spread off site and into nearby residential wells. The order requires Sibley to propose a schedule for testing, analyzing, and reporting to determine the extent of any health hazard.

EPA's scientific studies have shown that when the chemicals found in groundwater evaporate, they can contaminate the air in buildings and homes above where the groundwater flows. The workplan that EPA is requiring Sibley to design will also determine if this is the case here.

"Sibley's compliance with the order will assist EPA in determining whether people are being exposed to harmful chemicals that may have originated at the Sibley property," said EPA Regional Administrator Robert W. Varney.

The company operated from 1955 until 1986 during which it time generated cleaning waste waters, waste water treatment sludges, spent solvents and spent potassium cyanide solution, waste thiourea and waste xylene.