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EPA To Meet with Residents to Discuss Indoor Air Cleanup Plan

Release Date: 09/16/2003
Contact Information: Alice Kaufman, EPA Community Involvement Office, 617-918-1064

Boston - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection are offering to install ventilation systems in select residences in Stratford. The Connecticut Department of Public Health and the Stratford Health Department concurred with the environmental agencies that it is possible for groundwater chemicals to vaporize into residential units and to then contaminate the indoor air. The project budget is estimated at $1 million.

Since 2000, EPA has been sampling groundwater, soil gas, and indoor air in the residential area between Ferry Boulevard and the Housatonic River for chemicals disposed of at the former Raymark Industries facility on East Main Street. These chemicals, called volatile organic compounds or VOCs, can change into a gas and then enter the air inside homes. EPA has identified several homes where this has occurred and has since installed a sub-slab ventilation system in each of the homes where EPA found a problem.

The agencies are offering to install ventilation systems in homes where there is a likelihood that groundwater chemicals could cause a problem to the indoor air based on groundwater contamination levels. Homes with cracked or porous foundations are more likely to allow contaminated air to invade the living space. According to the health agencies, it makes good sense to install the systems to ensure the protection of residents' health. This approach would also eliminate the need for continued expensive and intrusive environmental monitoring in the neighborhood. Homeowners will not be required to pay for the installation of the system.

Working together, the agencies will meet individually with residents in the coming weeks to discuss this plan. For more information, residents can call the Stratford Health Department at 860-385-4090.

Reporters note:
A fact sheet is available with more detailed information at