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Exide Gets All Clear To Continue Post Road Clean-Up In Fairfield

Dredge samples collected at Exide Corporation's former Post Road site.
Dredge samples collected at Exide Corporation's former Post Road site. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — Remediation work has resumed at the former Exide Battery plant on the Post Road, months after the discovery of PCBs at the site meant a mandatory work stoppage and review of the clean-up plan, town officials announced Friday.

In May, polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, were detected in some of the stockpiled sediment samples dredged from the Mill River and stored on the site until it can be removed to a licensed disposal facility.

Federal and state regulators reviewed and approved an updated management and disposal plan and Exide has begun load-out and disposal over the last few weeks, according to the town announcement.

The work is expected to take up to three months to complete. Consultants for Exide hope to complete all work and restore the site by the end of this calendar year, the town announced.

At the time of the PCB detection, First Selectman Michael Tetrea and Conservation Director Brian Carey said there was no risk to the public.

PCBs are mixtures of synthetic organic chemicals that were widely used as dielectric and coolant fluids in electrical apparatus, cutting fluids for machining operations, carbonless copy paper and in heat transfer fluids from about 1929 until 1979.

The U.S. banned their manufacture, processing, distribution and use in 1979 based upon their environmental toxicity and their ability to readily bio-accumulate in the environment, according to a town fact sheet.

Site controls used since the start of the project at 2190 Post Road are conservative in nature and would abate any potential impact to human health or the environment caused by the presence of PCBs or any other in-organic materials, including lead and chromium, present in the riverbed sediments, according to town officials.

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