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  • Staff photo by Don Himsel

    Activity on Mill St, Milford Monday, May 7, 2012.
  • Staff photo by Don Himsel

    Activity at the Fletcher Paint site, Milford Monday, May 7, 2012.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Preliminary work will start this fall at Superfund site in Milford

MILFORD – Almost a quarter-century after it was added to the list of Superfund sites, preparatory work should start this fall at the location of the former Fletcher Paint Works near the Milford Oval.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency announced last week that it would begin testing at the site to determine where to put support walls needed to excavate soil that had been contaminated by years of leaking or dumped oil and chemical solvents. The pollution leaked into a major aquifer and forced Milford to close a well that once served a third of the town.

EPA said it will start site preparation work this fall, including the construction of an alternate access to Keyes Park from the western end of the park, where Permatech.

The road entrance to the park runs alongside the Fletcher site and will be blocked at least part of the time.

Actual removal of the tainted soil will not start until 2013.

EPA plans to dig up thousands of cubic yards of contaminated soil, truck it to New York state and store it in a landfill. New soil will be brought in the 2-acre site on Elm Street.

For many years EPA talked about “baking” the pollution out of the soil, but that proved too expensive and slow, and the idea was abandoned.

Cleanup work will also be done at a small plot of Mill Street a few hundred yards south, where Fletcher and other companies stored material.

The work is expected to take around two years. When it’s finished, the site it will become a park and parking lot.

The primary contaminants at the site are polychlorinated biphenyls. Hundreds of drums of scrap pyranol containing PCBs and trichloroethylene were stored there during the 1950s through the 1970s.

Milford has another Superfund site, the former OK Tool site at the west end of Elm Street. EPA has been cleaning the underground water at that site for close to a decade.

David Brooks can be reached at 594-6531 or