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Clean Up Work Scheduled for this Summer at Montville, Conn. Superfund Site

Release Date: 06/16/2008
Contact Information: Paula Ballentine, (617) 918-1027

Boston, Mass. – June 16, 2008) – EPA’s New England office has issued a Unilateral Administrative Order directing the owners of the Wisniewski Superfund Site on Route 163 in Montville, Connecticut to remove all PCB-containing electrical transformers from the property to a licensed off-site disposal facility.

The removal is estimated to cost a maximum of $51,600, which the trustee’s of the Site have agreed to undertake under EPA oversight. The removal is expected to take place this summer.

The Wisniewski Site is currently owned by the Theodore T. Wisniewski, Sr. Revocable Living Trust. The Site was previously operated by the Inland Paper Board Company starting in the 1920s, as a paper board manufacturing facility. Inland Paper Company later became known as the Federal Paper Board Company. It is not known precisely when manufacturing operations at the plant ceased, however the facility is no longer in use for paper manufacturing and portions of the complex have been boarded up.

EPA investigations of the property in November 2007 and January 2008 concluded that several of the transformer units on-site contained oil contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). There are eight transformers and two oil-filled capacitors on the property, elevated approximately 20 feet off the ground on a steel-and-wood frame platform adjacent to the roadway. Though no leaking has been observed, the location of the transformers is such that spills could impact adjacent Wheeler Pond and the Oxoboxo River, which ultimately discharges into Long Island Sound. Tests of the soil in the vicinity of the transformers did not reveal any PCB contamination above Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (CTDEP) residential cleanup criteria.

After having determined that the PCB contamination would present a threat to public health and the environment, EPA contacted the property owner to provide them with an opportunity to assist in the cleanup efforts. Shortly thereafter, the Wisniewski Trust indicated its willingness to cooperate with EPA in removing the electrical transformers from the Site.

EPA will be working with CTDEP and the Town of Montville to review the cleanup strategy and safety plan developed by the trustee’s environmental consultant. The work is expected to be completed this summer and will involve draining of the oil from the transformer and capacitor units. The oily wastes and empty transformers and capacitors will then be removed from the Site and sent to an EPA-approved treatment and disposal facility.

Safety measures developed with the Mayor’s Office, Uncas Health District, and Montville Fire and Police Departments will include temporary fencing, traffic control, spill containment, and contingency planning. These precautions will help to ensure the health and safety of the community during the removal activities.

Related information:

EPA’s Emergency Response Program (epa.gov/ne/superfund/er/index.htm)