FWS Opens 40-Day Public Comment Period on Draft Restoration Plan for Injured Natural Resources at Two Superfund Sites in Hartford County, Connecticut
Quinnipiac River looking west into the Quinnipiac River Gorge, as seen from "Red Bridge" in South Meriden, Connecticut. Natural resource restoration actions proposed in the Draft Restoration Plan are focused on the Quinnipiac River watershed. Photo credit: Arthur Dutra IV.
On December 20, 2012, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service opened a 40-day public comment period on “Draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment: Old Southington Landfill Superfund Site, Southington Connecticut and Solvents Recovery Service Superfund Site, Southington, Connecticut.” This Draft Restoration Plan describes proposed actions to restore natural resources and natural resource services injured by hazardous substances released from the Old Southington Landfill Superfund site and the Solvents Recovery Service Superfund site. Both sites are located within the Quinnipiac River watershed in Southington, Connecticut. By combining natural resource restoration actions for both sites, a larger, more effective and meaningful restoration can be accomplished.
Department of the Interior, represented by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is the only natural resource trustee involved in these two cases.
At the Old Southington Landfill Superfund site, mercury, cadmium and other metals were released contaminating surface waters and sediments in Black Pond. Additional wetlands at the site were destroyed during remedial activities adversely affecting aquatic organisms and migratory birds. The site connects to Quinnipiac River through an unnamed stream. A settlement of natural resource damage claims with the responsible party in 2009 provided $537,000 for restoration activities.
At the Solvents Recovery Service Superfund site, volatile organic compounds, PCBs and metals were released contaminating soils, groundwater and wetlands, including portions of Quinnipiac River. Remedial activities at the site also destroyed or degraded wetlands. As a result, migratory birds and fish were adversely affected. Three separate settlements of natural resource damage claims with multiple responsible parties in 2008 provided $289,840 for restoration activities.
A total of approximately $830,000 is now available for natural resource restoration activities from these four combined settlements at the two Superfund sites. The Draft Restoration Plan proposes two preferred projects to be undertaken in the Quinnipiac River watershed with this funding:
- The first project would restore diadromous fish -- such as American shad, river herring and American eel -- to the upper reaches of the Quinnipiac River watershed by removing obsolete dams or installing fish ladders; and,
- The second project would support efforts to clear and maintain a portion of the Quinnipiac River canoe trail and fund publication of an educational brochure about the River.
Written comments on Draft Restoration Plan must be received by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Concord, New Hampshire, by Thursday, January 31, 2013.
- FWS News Release (dated December 20, 2012)
- Draft Restoration Plan (dated December 2012)
- Meriden Record-Journal press report (dated January 4, 2013)
- Meriden Record-Journal press report (dated January 6, 2013)
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