Greenwich Releases Statement on Human Health Risks at Western Middle School Fields

The following news release was distributed by Greenwich Public Schools and the Town of Greenwich on Friday, Sept 23 at 6pm

The Connecticut Department of Health (CT DPH) issued a statement on Friday concurring with the Human Health Risk Assessment (HHRA) conducted by Langan, the Town’s environmental consultants for the Western Middle School fields.

The Human Health Risk Assessment issued September 7, 2016 for the Western Middle School’s fields, based on testing conducted this summer, established that the hazard index for the levels of constituents present in the fields are below risk standards, indicating adverse health effects are unlikely to occur.

In assessing the concentrations against the Connecticut residential standards for exposure – the Residential Direct Exposure Criteria (RDEC), and a site-specific standard – four sampled grid areas of the field were recommended for excavation and off-site soil disposal in the HHRA.

These were based on exceedences over 606 mg/kg for lead impacted soils (site-specific standard) and exceedences of 1 mg/kg for PCB impacted soils (RDEC). The CT Dept of Health concurred with the HHRA and excavation recommendations provided by Langan and submitted the following additional recommendations:

– Connecticut Dept of Health recommended the remediation of three additional grid areas as well as agreeing with Langan on the depth of the excavation, which will be 1 ft.

– Connecticut Dept of Health recommends that the Greenwich Board of Education communicate directly with the CT DEEP and/or EPA about their requirements regarding PCB characterization and cleanup in soil in the ballpark adjacent to Western Middle School

As noted in the Connecticut Dept of Public Health recommendations, GPS administration has been in contact with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to review their feedback.

Connecticut Dept of Environmental Protection’s Supervising Environmental Analyst Lori Saliby has requested further testing to determine the lateral and vertical extent of the PCB constituents encountered above 1mg/kg.

Next Steps:

– Greenwich Public Schools administration is reviewing the details and timelines for securing funding for the excavation work, and developing a plan for the next phase of testing – based on these timelines, further conversations with Connecticut DEEP, Connecticut Dept of Health, and Town of Greenwich Dept of Health, and school/community needs, we will determine if/when and which portions of the fields can be re-opened.

A community forum on Western Middle School fields has been scheduled at Western Middle School on Tuesday, September 27 at 7:00p.m.

Please submit questions in advance to the Western Middle School PTA Presidents at WMSPTA1@gmail.com, or to the GPS at greenwich_publicschools@greenwich.k12.ct.us (use “WMS FIELDS” in the subject line) by Monday 9/26 at 5pm, or in writing at the Forum.


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