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Valley Council of Governments

Serving the Communities of Ansonia, Derby, Seymour & Shelton
12 MAIN STREET RAILROAD STATION DERBY, CONNECTICUT 06418 Tel: (203) 735-8688 Fax: (203) 735-8680 Website: www.valleycog.org

Memo To: Mayor Tony Staffieri

From: Rick Dunne CC: Joseph Coppola, Corporation Counsel Sheila O’Malley, Director of Development HRR Grant, O’Sullivan’s Peninsula, Derby 03/06/12

RE: Date:

This is a follow-up memo covering the matters we have discussed previously at different times about this site and our recommendation regarding the transfer of the property to a land trust that would be eligible to receive assessment & cleanup funds. You should recall that Arthur Bogen & I met with you in December 2010 to express concern that while the EPA contractor at the O’Sullivan’s site apparently covered the site with an unknown amount of clean fill, there is no documentation or evidence that all contaminants have been removed or are safely separated from the members of the public using the site. At that meeting we introduced the concept of the City transferring the site to a Land Trust controlled by the City, thereby making the site again eligible for assessment & cleanup grants that could be used to properly document and close-out the cleanup effort. That proposal was precipitated by our discovery that: 1) the PCB cleanup performed by EPA’s contractors did not conform to DEEP standards, 2) The EPA cleanup did not address the numerous other contaminants at the site that VCOG had previously documented for the City, and 3) not only were those other contaminants not remediated, they were apparently moved around the site without documentation then covered by EPA contractors, making their prior documentation useless to conduct or evaluate the need for additional remediation. Due to the foregoing conditions DEEP is unable to certify that the site has been remediated. As we have previously discussed, failure to gain this certification makes it impossible for VCOG to complete the grant agreement for the $325,000 Housatonic River Restoration (HRR) grant we have secured for the city to make access and environmental improvements at the O’Sullivan’s Peninsula. Further assessment, quantification and possibly remediation are necessary to gain the DEEP sign-off. However, as part of the cleanup agreement the City negotiated with EPA the City agreed to accept that it is the “Responsible Party” for the site under federal environmental law & regulation. This RP status makes the city ineligible to receive further assessment or cleanup funding for this site. We recently received notice from the project officer of the Housatonic River Restoration (HRR) grant that they want to conclude the grant agreement. If the City is unable to conclude the agreement in the
Secretary Vice Chairman Chairman Member

Mark A. Lauretti
Mayor City of Shelton

Anthony Staffieri
Mayor City of Derby

James T. Della Volpe
Mayor City of Ansonia

W. Kurt Miller
First Selectman Town of Seymour

Rick Dunne
Executive Director

VERY NEAR FUTURE the entire $325,000 grant will be lost. There remain two conditions to be met before the grant agreement can be executed. These conditions are: 1) the City has to demonstrate that it has access across the State land to work on the site 2) the City has to provide proof that the area where the grant funds are to be used is reviewed and approved by CT DEEP. As to the status of these conditions: 1. It is our understanding that the City Engineer has arranged for the access. Proof must be provided to VCOG. 2. Environmental conditions: a) VCOG provided funding from its DECD grant for the GO Environmental LEP engaged by the City to do some additional assessment work related toward meeting this condition b) The preliminary review by the LEP at GO Environmental detailed some data gaps and some data regarding Areas of Concern c) We informed the City of those conditions d) There has been no recent activity by GO. A new Scope of Work would need to be coordinated with a plan to receive CT DEEP review for the purposes of the HRR grant e) DECD wants to close out the underlying grant to VCOG f) No additional funding to perform this work can be granted to the City due to the RP status, therefore unless the city pays for this work itself or can secure other funding without the RP restriction, the only resolution is to implement VCOG’s prior advice to transfer control to a land trust. Additionally, VCOG secured another grant from the LIS Future Fund related to planting on the site that has expired due to the requirement that the HRR grant be implemented to enact the LIS grant. The funding would have been used in conjunction with the HRR grant. The $35,000 has been lost to the City and was granted elsewhere. I have to respond to the most recent HRR inquiry immediately and request advice of the City’s intentions so I may respond. I cannot stress strongly enough that further inaction by the City will place the entire HRR Grant in jeopardy.