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Officials seek solutions to waste
April 13, 1998

UConn and Department of Environmental Protection officials are crafting a way for the University to remediate the debris and ash discovered at the site of a new central stores building, located at the top of F Lot, and to revise and update the closure plan for the University's inactive landfill, located on the former UCEPI site.

The debris, discovered when workers peeled back the blacktop and began excavating the site, generally consists of glass, metal cans, construction debris, and some incinerator ash. UConn officials stopped the project, and the environmental firm of Haley & Aldrich tested samples of the material for toxins. The tests revealed the presence of low levels of several contaminants typically found in solid waste landfills. All levels were below federal limits. Nonetheless, UConn and DEP officials have agreed to conduct further tests.

UConn officials originally sought to move the material to the landfill, which hasn't been used since 1982 but has yet to be officially closed. DEP, however, preferred to keep the two jobs separate, and discussions have begun on how each project can be done most effectively.

"We are moving expeditiously to take the necessary steps to resolve these two situations," said Thomas Q. Callahan, associate vice president for institutional advancement. "Our final closure plans for both sites will comport with all appropriate state and federal requirements, and we are working closely with the DEP to accomplish that."

Several steps have already been taken. The University has agreed to:

  • conduct additional tests on the material at the construction site, and perform a more in-depth water analysis, in consultation with DEP;
  • pursue additional groundwater testing at the old landfill site;
  • use data from the tests to work with DEP to develop revised closure and capping plans for both sites and to implement these plans expeditiously;
  • expand the existing monitoring network at the landfill, as part of that closure plan.

Richard Veilleux