A SAFER Program Success Story
A child care center, located on a former herbicide and pesticide manufacturing and storage facility site, was applying for a license to expand its programs. The applicant indicated on the property history questionnaire that the site had been used for “factory/manufacturing/industrial” and that environmental assessment reports existed for the property. This triggered the child care center to be referred to CT DPH (EOHA) for follow up. EOHA obtained the environmental reports and learned that the property was in a clean-up program at CTDEEP that had no regulatory timeframe to mandate a cleanup. The environmental reports showed that soil arsenic levels on the property were as high as 270 parts per million (ppm), greatly exceeding Connecticut’s arsenic clean-up standard of 10 ppm. Through the SAFER Program referral and follow-up process, additional sampling was performed at the property to better delineate the soil contamination, and interim remedial measures including excavating contaminated soil and covering with clean soil were implemented. These actions would likely have occurred eventually, but it might have been many years before cleanup occurred. Through the SAFER Program, the contamination was identified and addressed quickly, which resulted in a reduction of potential exposures to children and staff. In addition, EOHA recommended health and safety measures to prevent exposures during remediation and helped communicate with the child care staff and families. Without the SAFER Program involvement, the new license allowing the child care center to expand and enroll more children would have been g ranted before completion of the remediation. Without the additional assessment and cleanup of contaminated soil, children attending the expanded child care center could have been exposed to the contaminated soil.