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PCBs Detected In Sediment Samples At Former Exide Site In Fairfield

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

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — Exide Corp. and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection have found polychlorinated biphenyls — or PCBs — in select dredge samples collected from a stockpile on Exide’s former Post Road location, Fairfield officials announced this week.

The discovery has triggered a mandatory review by DEEP and the federal Environmental Protection Agency, which will review the new data and seek additional authorizations before transporting the material for final disposal at a certified landfill.

There is no risk to the public at this time, First Selectman Mike Tetreau and Conservation Director Brian Carey said.

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.

Exide is awaiting a formal response from the regulatory agencies so it can continue with the removal of the dredge sediments at 2190 Post Road.

Site controls used since the start of the project 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.

The DEEP and EPA will issue a decision regarding regulatory steps required to move forward to ensure the project meets with all federal and state regulations.

The town has prepared a PCB fact sheet to address concerns and questions the public may have regarding the project. It is available here .

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