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Record of Decision System (RODS)

CHESHIRE GROUND WATER CONTAMINATION

Abstract

Site Name:  CHESHIRE GROUND WATER CONTAMINATION
Address:  604 WEST JOHNSON AVENUE 
City & State:  CHESHIRE  CT  06410
County:  NEW HAVEN
 
EPA ID:  CTD981067317
EPA Region:  01
 
NPL Status:  Deleted from the Final NPL
 
ROD Type:  Record of Decision
ROD ID:  EPA/541/R-97/001
ROD Date:  12/31/1996
Operable Unit(s):  01
 
Media:  Groundwater
 
Contaminant:  volatile organic compounds, perchloroethylene, trichloroethylene, methylene chloride, chloroform, 1,1-dichloroethylene, 1,2-dichloroethane, trichloroethane, 1,1-dichloroethane
 
Abstract:  The Cheshire Groundwater contamination site is located in the northwestern corner of Cheshire, Connecticut. The site includes the industrial property at 604 West Johnson Avenue where disposal of waste material was conducted and, in addition, those places where waste material emanating from this property has come to be located in the groundwater. The site is immediately bounded by vacant land situated atop a low hill to the east, industrial property to the south, and Knotter Drive and Route 691 to the west and north, respectively.The site is primarily occupied by an industrial building at 604 West Johnson Avenue. Immediately surrounding this 70,000 square foot building are paved parking areas to the south, west, and north. Office space is located in the southerly extension of the building, while manufacturing areas occupy the rest of the building space. A loading dock is located at the northwest side of the building. Two ponds are also located on the property. A larger, lower pond is located adjacent to the western parking lot. This pond is in part natural, but it has been excavated and expanded from its original extent. The smaller, upper pond located to the northwest of the building is about 7 feet higher than the lower one and is an artificial impoundment. A single-family residence and a manufacturer of stainless steel medical needles are located immediately south of the 604 West Johnson Avenue property across West Johnson Avenue. Land use in the area surrounding the site is a mix of residential, commercial, and industrial. For an undetermined period of time prior to 1966, the site was used for agricultural purposes. Greenhouses formerly existed on the property located to the east. The as yet undeveloped 604 West Johnson Avenue property was acquired in October 1966. The property was leased to many tenants. One of these tenants was a company which conducted contract packaging, expandable polystyrene foam molding, injection molding, and thermoforming on the property. A portion of the building is rumored to have been sublet to a tool machine company. After this, manufacturing of electro-mechanical and electronic devices (indicators and timers) occurred in the building. The building is currently occupied by another tenant.The specific hazardous substance use, storage, and disposal practices of the previous tenants are unknown, but it is believed that effluent from their operations was disposed of through an underground drainpipe on the property. This pipe, which was reportedly sealed, is believed to have discharged from in-ground pits inside the northwest corner of the building to the larger pond. It is also alleged that non-contact cooling water from the molding machines was collected in former drain trenches and discharged to the on-site pond. Floor drains existing at the time of occupation of the last tenant were reportedly sealed; their previous discharge point is unknown. The last tenant used one floor trench to direct their tumbling wastewater discharges to an on-site wastewater treatment system. The wastewater traveled through the floor trench to settling pits and an evaporator in the northwest corner of the building. This tenant was permitted to discharge metal finishing wastewater and cooling system blowdown to the Town of Cheshire sewage system. This discharge was eliminated in 1992. Settled sludge, as well as the alkaline wastewater, were then transported off site. Methylene chloride, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, and trichloroethane, as well as waste oils, were formerly stored in tanks along the norther wall of the building. Approximately four degreaser baths were located in different areas of the building.Contamination on the property has also been associated with a 10,000-gallon underground fuel tank formerly located on the northwestern side of the building. Other evidence of contamination has included dark-toned spills and stains in the parking lot to the west of the building near the loading dock. and mounded material and circular objects, possibly containers, observed along the northern edge of the building in the 1970s. An abandoned septic system exists under the western parking lot on the property. The property was connected to the town sewer system in 1983. Soils stained with oily material were evident near the building in 1980. Initial investigations in 1980 indicated a petrochemical odor, oil and grease in wells installed on site, a sheen around the edges of the large pond, and water seeping from the pond banks. Additional test holes installed to quantify the distribution of petrochemicals on site indicated the highest levels of hydrocarbon contamination near the northwest corner of the building. Low levels of volatile organic and extractable organic compounds were also detected in water samples.
 
Remedy:  No further action is necessary to address the contamination at the site. The site poses no current or potential threat to human health or the environment.
 
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