Greenwich town and education officials have released reports that analyze the extent of soil contamination at Greenwich High School.
The reports come a week before a March 6 open house for residents who will be able to question officials about the soil and water testing studies and reports which will be used as the basis for a feasibility study on how to rid the school's athletic fields of the contaminants that include PCBs.
Greenwich Public Works Commissioner Amy Siebert said at a press conference Wednesday there will be a cleanup of the site—that not "doing nothing" isn't an option. But just how extensive the cleanup will be has not been determined.
"The reports will help people understand the context of potential solutions...what do we do next," Siebert said. "We think it's important for people to understand that we did not find elevated risks or an increased risk for users of the site." She added, "Our streams and the pond need a little more study."
Siebert said, "Our next element is the feasibility study. We have a draft…there are numbers being thrown around but they are just estimates." She did not discuss reports that a multi-year cleanup could cost $148 million.
The reports and a draft of the feasibility study will be presented in a public forum at 6 p.m., March 6 at Central Middle School, 9 Indian Rock Ln. The forum will be presented by representatives from AECOM, the Town's environmental
consultant who conducted the site investigations, US Environmental Protection
Agency, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection,
and Connecticut Department of Public Health, members of the Greenwich Department of Public Works and Board of Education.
According to a summary of the remedial investigation:
• Overall, the sample results from the study show some areas of environmental impacts; these impacts appear to be largely focused in areas where fill material was imported to the campus during the development of the school in the late 1960s (in particular beneath the west parking lot and fields 2, 3, 4 and 5).
• The school buildings were not built on this fill (they were built substantially on top of bedrock), thus the contamination does not appear to extend beneath the school buildings.
• Based on the data collected, the environmental impacts appear to be contained on-site (i.e., there does not appear to be migration of chemicals off the Greenwich High School campus).
The contaminated soil was discovered in 2011 when an initial phase of construction of the MISA project began at the high school's Hillside Road campus. The discovery led to the closure of athletic fields at the school, while tests were conducted by AECOM.