UA-8412995-1 The Southport Globe: Exide scheduled to clean up Mill River

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Exide scheduled to clean up Mill River

There’s a piece of good news on the horizon. Exide is scheduled to begin the clean up of the Mill River this spring or summer. It would be hard to say that anyone is rushing into this, since the river has been polluted both north and south of the Post Road since the 1970s.
The pollution comes from two sources. One is lead is from the former Exide battery factory in Southport. Many remember the huge building with its broken and boarded up windows at 2190 Post Road. It stopped making batteries in 1981, but wasn’t torn down until 2005. A year later, the six acres underneath the factory had been cleaned of pollution, according to Ralph Klass, Director of Environmental Engineering for CCA in Brookfield, who spoke to the Conservation Commission last Thursday evening. His firm has been hired by Exide to oversee whatever contractor will do the clean-up.
Others who spoke included Jed Money, Vice-President of Exide Group, Inc and Traci Iott, Supervising Environmental Analyst for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, (DEEP). Iott brought at least four others from the DEEP with her.
“It’s a very large complicated site, so it required a lot of complicated studies,” Iott told the Minuteman after the meeting. “We’ve been testing every few years for the last 15 years. We’ve done a human health risk assessment, an ecological risk assessment and two supplemental ecological studies. Each of those took time to plan and study, so it looks like nothing is happening, but behind the scenes, there has been a lot of work and study and review, and during that time, the upland area (the factory site) was (cleaned up).”
“If you’re going to study a river system, it takes time and effort,” she said.
Besides the lead from Exide, the river is polluted with chromium from Superior Plating, which is located just across the river from Exide’s land.
Each company is responsible for cleaning up only its own contamination, Iott said, but because both lead and chromium are mostly in the same places, Exide will be taking out some chromium also. However if there is chromium left where there is no lead, or where there is lead in such small amounts that it is permissible to leave it, Superior Plating will have to clean it out after Exide is finished. READ MORE:

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