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Contamination Concerns Prompt Closure of Public Fields Across Fairfield

The concerns regard potentially hazardous waste that may have been brought to the sites from a Public Works fill pile at Richard White Way.

More than a dozen town field and park sites are closed in Fairfield for environmental testing over contamination concerns.

“That is a significant violation of public trust that should’ve never happened,” Mike Tetreau Fairfield First Selectman said.

Week-long soil testing for contamination at 20 sites across town, mostly soccer and ballparks, wrapped up Friday.

Tetreau said Gould Manor Park was the first place that was tested for contamination after an investigation revealed Public Works employees allowed aggregate material, meant for industrial commercial use like under roadways, to be used at recreational areas.

According to the town website, it happened at a time the pile was managed by Julian Development, from 2013 to 2016.

The Parks and Recreation Department decided to close the fields pending their test results after testing at Gould Manor Park revealed levels of arsenic and lead in the soil in the sidewalk area, which used the fill when the sidewalk was under construction.

Tetreau said health officials say the levels aren’t high enough to cause health concerns, the soil is now being recommended by a consulting firm to be removed.

“Our residents have a certain amount of fear, concern and anxiety over this and it’s appropriate they should,” Tetreau said.

He said the testing results are expected to be reported next week and remediation will begin as soon as possible for any affected soil.

“The goal is to make sure that all of these fields are safe as fast as we can,” Tetreau said.

The following sites were identified by the town as needing testing:

  • Burr School Soccer field
  • Burroughs Park Soccer fields
  • Dougiello Softball Field Field
  • Dwight Elementary School Soccer field
  • Gould Manor Park Along Sidewalk
  • Holland Hill Soccer fields
  • Jennings Beach Playgound grass
  • Jennings Elementary School Soccer field
  • McKinley Elementary School Soccer field
  • Mill Hill Elementary School Walkway to Lower playground
  • Mohegan L.K.M Conservation Use
  • North Stratfield Soccer field
  • Old Dam Road Tennis Court Job
  • Oldfield Soccer fields
  • Riverfield School Fields
  • South Pine Creek Soccer fields
  • Sullivan Football Fields Fields
  • Town Hall Soccer fields
  • Tunxis Hill Soccer field
  • Woods Middle School Soccer fields
  • Woods Middle School Little League Field and Parking lot

Additionally, Fairfield Public Schools opted to close all school fields pending testing. School officials warned that the fields will be closed when students go back to school on August 29.

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is involved in the investigation and the town has a civil claim against Julian Development in arbitration.

For more information on the fill use issues, click here.

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