• Community consulted on contaminated soil clear-up
    Community consulted on contaminated soil clear-up

Soil Remediation

Community consulted on contaminated soil clear-up

Apr 12 2013

A community in Connecticut, USA has been consulted over what should be done to clean up contaminated soil at a local high school.

Greenwichtime.com, a local newspaper for the town of Greenwich, reported that the Board of Education had asked for public views on the clean up options open to them.

Greenwich High School's athletic fields were found to have high levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Authorities have devised a range of possible removal options and asked members of the community to have their say prior to a final decision.

The solutions suggested include removing contaminated soil at different levels, from one foot to three foot from the surface. In these scenarios, the depth of the excavation would depend on the activities carried out at that place in the fields.

Some contaminated soil would be allowed to remain. It is estimated this would cost between $13 million (£8.4 million) to $20 million and take more than two years.

Alternatively, officials have proposed removing the contaminated soil own to 13 feet across the 17-acre fields. This would be the most expensive option, costing $120 million to $180 million. Work would take more than ten years to complete.

Malcolm Beeler, from environmental consultant AECOM, told concerned parents the health risks from PCBs depended on exposure.

He said: "If there's a protective layer on the surface, that eliminates contact. If it's below surface, it's unlikely to volatize into air."

An assessment of the risks to people using the fields found they would have a one in 100,000 chance of developing cancer at some point in their lives, he added.

PCBs were previously in wide use as dielectric and coolant fluids for items including transformers, capacitors and electric motors. However, US Congress banned their use in 1979 due to their toxicity.
 


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