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01/20/2015

Update on O'Sullivan's Island

Further testing to begin at O’Sullivan’s Island in Derby - By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich/New Haven Register

The environmental firm that tested suspected contaminated soil on O’Sullivan’s Island will begin a new round of sampling, but this time on the groundwater to check for possible contamination, prompting the site to remain closed well into spring.
That’s according to Environmental Planner Arthur Bogen, who, along with Rick Dunne, executive director of the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments, and attorney Gary O’Connor, gave the Board of Aldermen and the O’Sullivan’s Island Advisory Committee an update Thursday of what’s been happening with investigation of the site over the past several months.
Bogen said HRP Associates Inc., which did soil testing last summer, will conduct groundwater testing, and a complete historic study will also be done to determine how the island had been used, and who used it, over the years, which ultimately led to discovery of PCB contamination there.
The groundwater testing and gathering of historical information is part of what Bogen is calling Phase I of the investigation, which is necessary for officials to apply for further state and/or federal funds for remediation.
O’Sullivan’s Island is not an actual island but rather a strip of land at the confluence of the Housatonic and Naugatuck rivers, and has been used for fishing, picnics and other passive recreation. It has been the site of Brownfields cleanups and PCB removal, which were used in the manufacture of plastics and insulating oil in transformers as a coolant, and banned in 1979.
The site also was former home to a Valley fire training school, where contaminants were found. Parts of the site were used as a toxic dumping ground and, in 1983, hundreds of 55-gallon chemical drums were unearthed.

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