Newhall Remedy Selection (Cleanup) Plan Details
In October 2007 the Department of Environmental Protection issued a Remedy Selection Plan (PDF document) that outlined what would be done to remove contamination from the Newhall neighborhood in Hamden, CT. Highlights of the plan are as follows:
Conditions on privately owned properties – mostly residential – will be addressed by:
The plan states that excavated waste fill will be properly disposed of off-site and that properties will be backfilled with clean soil and restored. Examples of restoration activities include replacement of lawns, driveways, patios and landscaping disturbed by the excavation.
At public properties in the Newhall Street Neighborhood permanent “caps” will be used to isolate waste fill that will remain on the grounds of:
Local Design District
The DEP’s plan avoids the need to record ELURs on the individual land records of approximately 135 private properties where waste fill would remain at depths greater than four feet – as was called for in the agency’s draft plan. As an alternative, the plan says the Town of Hamden has committed to pursue the creation of a “Local Design District.”
Building Permit Requirement for Deep Excavation
Within the “Local Design District,” property owners would need to meet an additional requirement for a building permit from the Town if they proposed to dig to depths greater than four feet. Projects such as an addition to a home or installation of an in-ground swimming pool require this type of excavation and need a building permit even now. It is not necessary to dig to this depth – or obtain a building permit - for routine activities such as planting a tree, gardening or installing a fence.
Soil Management Fund
The DEP plan calls for establishment of a Soil Management Fund to cover the extra costs associated with properly managing waste fill excavated from depths greater than four feet on private properties.
The DEP’s plan also says:
Homes Outside Consent Order Boundary
The plan also notes that DEP is recommending remediation to the owners of some residential properties outside the Consent Order area. These properties are located to the south and west of the CO boundary. DEP sampling has shown the presence of some waste fill materials mixed with soil on these properties – though not as extensive as the waste fill within the CO. Remediation would be similar to steps that would be taken on private properties within the CO area. (back to top)
Funding for the Cleanup
Funding for the state’s share of the cost of the project must also be approved by the General Assembly and then authorized by the state Bond Commission. Under the CO, Olin is responsible for conducting cleanup activities on private properties in the Newhall Street Neighborhood and will be reimbursed by the state of Connecticut for half of the remedial costs. The Town of Hamden is responsible for conducting cleanup – which will involve placing “caps” – on Rochford Field and Mill Rock Park. The Regional Water Authority (RWA) is responsible for conducting cleanup – which will also involve a “cap” – at the former Hamden Middle School.
The Plan noted that DEP and the Town of Hamden are also working to secure state funds which can be used for the repair or purchase – at fair market value – of homes that are determined to have extensive and severe structural damage as a result of being built on waste fill. [In October 2007 the state legislature authorized and in November 2007 the Governor approved $5 million to cover damages to structurally damaged homes.]
The DEP and the town will also seek funding for the town’s cost for “capping” the two parks in the project area. (back to top)