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Release Date: 04/11/1997
Contact Information: Jim Murphy, Superfund Community Involvement Coordinator, (617) 918-1028;

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency yesterday notified the owners of two residential properties remaining at the Old Southington Landfill Superfund Site in Southington, Connecticut, that EPA will begin the process necessary to acquire their property and relocate them to replacement housing. The properties to be acquired are both single family residences.

In anticipation of EPA's plan to place a protective cap over the landfill to contain contamination at the site, the parties potentially responsible for the costs of cleaning the superfund site began negotiations with four families of on-site residents in 1991. Negotiations with two of the four families were successful, and the residents were relocated and the homes were removed from the site in 1993 and 1994. The remaining families have been unable to reach a settlement through voluntary and informal negotiations with the representatives of the potentially responsible parties.

"We are now at a point in the Superfund process where the government has to perform the relocation of the families. EPA is taking this action to protect the public health of all Southington citizens from the environmental contamination at the landfill," said Mindy S. Lubber, senior advisor for policy of EPA's New England office. "I sympathize with and understand the concerns of the two families, and I assure them that EPA staff will work closely with them to answer specific questions about the relocation process and timetable, help them fully understand all of their rights and benefits, and assist them in any way possible to help them successfully relocate."

The EPA has contracted with the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct the acquisition and relocation process. Activities will be undertaken in accordance with the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Polices Act, passed by Congress in 1970, which provides a uniform policy for fair and equitable treatment of persons displaced as a result of federal and federally assisted programs. The law requires government agencies to work with homeowners to locate, purchase, and occupy comparable replacement housing which provides a similar style of living for the homeowners.

The EPA cleanup plans for the Old Southington Landfill Superfund Site call for constructing a synthetic cap over the landfill to prevent human contact with contaminated subsurface soils, stop rainwater infiltration through the soil to the groundwater, and allow for the containment and collections of landfill gas. All structures on the landfill must be removed during construction of the cap and soil collection system.

The town of Southington, one of the parties potentially responsible for cleanup costs at the superfund site, will reimburse EPA for all costs incurred to acquire the properties. After a series of public meetings to review the relocation issues, the town, in October 1996, approved a bond issuance to pay the federal government the costs of relocating the two single residences.