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EPA Cleanup Plan Issued for the Raymark Industries, Inc. Superfund Site in Stratford, Conn.

09/15/2016
Contact Information: 
Jim Murphy (murphy.jim@epa.gov)
617-918-1028

BOSTON – The U.S. EPA has announced its final cleanup plan of four Operable Units of the Raymark Industries, Inc. Superfund Site (Raymark) in Stratford, Conn. With this decision, EPA and the State of Connecticut will be investing an estimated $95 million to eliminate potential exposures to the community and repair the harm to the environment that resulted from more than seventy years of dumping of waste from the former Raymark Industries.

EPA's cleanup plan will allow for the redevelopment of the currently unused and blighted Raybestos Memorial Ballfield and will address many commercial properties whose reuse has been hampered by the presence of Raymark waste. This cleanup plan will respond to environmental hazards and allow properties to be used to their full potential, bringing economic benefits to the Town of Stratford.

The final cleanup decision for Raymark is consistent with EPA's statutory requirements to select a cleanup plan that protects human health and the environment. The final cleanup plan is documented in a Record of Decision which generally includes:

  • For Groundwater (Operable Unit 2):  installation of vapor ventilation systems  in a variety of impacted buildings and structures to protect building occupants against the intrusion of volatile chemicals from contaminated groundwater into indoor air; and

  • Upper Ferry Creek, the Raybestos Memorial Ballfield, and 22 Additional Properties (Operable Units 3, 4, and 6): contaminated soil and sediment at OU3 and OU6 will be excavated and transported to the Raybestos Memorial Ballfield (OU4) where it will be consolidated and capped along with Raymark Waste already present at the ballfield. This action will prevent exposure through direct contact or inhalation, and reduce risks to local wildlife, with the most toxic waste being disposed out-of-town. Once all planned cleanups in Stratford are completed, EPA estimates that more than half of the Raymark waste to be excavated will be disposed of out of town.

EPA is committed to a cleanup that places primary importance on health and safety for abutting and nearby residents, for residents along any trucking route, and for the workers performing the cleanup work. EPA will develop the details regarding construction management and health and safety in plans created for each work area during the remedial design process. Through an enhanced outreach effort, EPA will continue to solicit input from the Stratford community as we develop these plans.

"Our comprehensive cleanup plan will ensure public health protections and will ultimately result in a redevelopment opportunity for the Town of Stratford," said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA's New England office. "With this cleanup Raymark waste will be properly addressed, and this cleanup work will improve the community in a healthy and stable way."

"We are all too familiar with the legacy of asbestos, lead, and PCBs that Raymark left behind at so many locations in Stratford," said Robert Klee, Commissioner of Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP). "We are now confident and proud of the protective legacy we will leave behind as our State and Federal partnership moves forward to implement the remedy plan developed by EPA. CT DEEP will remain fully engaged with residents, local officials, the EPA, the Army Corps of Engineers and contractors to help ensure this cleanup moves forward and achieves the critical goals of protecting the environment and natural resources as well as the health of the public."

EPA's final cleanup plan, detailed in a Record of Decision, incorporates public comments received on the Proposed Cleanup Plan, which was issued on June 30, 2016. EPA received and appreciated the many diverse and meaningful comments from the public. EPA carefully considered all points of view prior to making this final cleanup decision. The Record of Decision also includes a detailed Responsiveness Summary that includes responses to all the written and verbal comments received.

While EPA received supportive comments from the Stratford Health Department, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP), business owners, community leaders, and neighbors, a number of the commenters were opposed to, or had concerns over, the safety and permanence of consolidation. Another group questioned why EPA was not actively treating the contamination in soil, sediment or groundwater.

Following exhaustive searches and evaluations, EPA has concluded that no one technology, or combination of technologies, can effectively destroy or reduce the concentrations of the unique mixture of individual chemicals in soil, sediment, and groundwater to non-toxic levels. Therefore, EPA developed and evaluated excavation, consolidation, and capping alternatives that eliminate potential routes of exposure.

Consolidation is a safe and cost-effective method to eliminate exposure, and allows for cleanup work to start now, with continued funding until the entire site is addressed. EPA has successfully implemented capping and consolidation at many sites in New England and around the country. In many cases, these sites have been returned to safe and productive use. In 1997, waste from 46 properties in Stratford were consolidated and capped with the waste left behind at the former Raymark facility. This property is now the site of the Stratford Crossing Shopping Plaza.

Senator Richard Blumenthal said, "Having fought the fight to hold Raymark accountable for clean-up of the site, I am pleased that EPA is moving forward with a plan to eliminate harmful chemicals from these properties. The town of Stratford will see more economic growth as a result. Importantly, EPA must continue to work with town officials and residents in the implementation of the plan."

"For more than seventy years, Raymark dumped pollutants into Stratford's Superfund Site. I've been working on the clean-up of this site since I was elected to represent Stratford in the U.S. Senate, and I'm so glad that EPA is making this historic investment in the clean-up of the site," said U.S. Senator Chris Murphy. "I've personally toured this site with community leaders, and I know how important it is to redevelop it with community feedback so that these parcels can be returned to the tax rolls of the town. EPA's investment will go a long way in moving this project forward, and I expect EPA to continue to take into account residents' concerns throughout the entire clean-up process."

"This record of decision represents a comprehensive plan to address the Raymark Superfund site—a goal which the Stratford community, EPA, and DEEP have been working towards for nearly two decades. While getting here has not been without its challenges, this comprehensive plan is the result of listening, learning, and compromise from all sides and marks an important step forward for the Stratford community." said Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, CT-3. "Community input has always been a critical component of this effort and as this plan progresses from design to implementation, I am confident that the EPA will continue to ensure that the community is involved at every step. With this plan in place, we can now look forward to the time when the Raebestos Ballfield and the impacted businesses are returned to safe and productive properties in the community."

Stratford Mayor John A. Harkins said, "This record of decision announced today by the EPA will finally rid Stratford of its toxic Raymark legacy, which has threatened the public health and stunted economic growth in our town for decades. The comprehensive conceptual plan includes removal of more than half of the waste from Stratford, including the most toxic waste, which represents a tremendous compromise from both the EPA and affected Stratford residents. Our health department will be working hand-in-hand with the EPA, CT DEEP and most importantly our residents, to ensure a safe, timely resolution to this cleanup."

More information:

EPA's Record of Decision for Operable Units 2, 3, 4, and 6 of the Raymark Industries, Inc. Superfund Site (semspub.epa.gov/src/document/01/592492)

The full Administrative Record for the Raymark Industries, Inc. Superfund Site (semspub.epa.gov/src/collection/01/AR64529)

Further history of EPA's involvement in the Raymark Industries, Inc. Superfund Site (www.epa.gov/superfund/raymark)

The Record of Decision is also available for review at the site repository at the Stratford Public Library; and a copy can be requested by contacting Marilyn St. Fleur, US EPA at 617-918-1617, (stfleur.marilyn@epa.gov).