WETHERSFIELD - The discovery of PCBs and underground oil tanks during the Wethersfield High School preconstruction phase has prompted the need for further testing, according to representatives from EnviroMed Services Inc., the firm contracted by the town to investigate the site for potential environmental hazards.
Additional testing was unanimously approved by the Wethersfield Town Council last Tuesday, Jan. 22, although the next step is regarded as standard procedure, and not any indication that the site poses serious dangers, EnviroMed representatives told the Council.
The site examination will consist of both an exterior and interior phase. The former will look to measure and eliminate any risk that may be posed by the presence of three underground oil tanks, two of which will be removed while the areas around all of them will be tested for contamination, Town Manager Jeff Bridges wrote in his report.
The exterior phase is expected to cost no more than $56,950, according to the report. The town budgeted a total of $199,522, which is made up of an initial authorization of $60,617 combined with an additional $150,000, for the testing.
In its own portion of the report, EnvironMed suggested that the outside of the building be assessed using ground-penetrating radar (GPR) to examine the underground oil tanks. The GPR will also allow them a thorough overview of electric, water, sewer, and natural gas line locations, the report said. Exterior tests also include the use of 13 soil borings for testing the ground’s chemical content.
Interior phase will determine the presence and/or extent to which surface contamination has occurred. A second step will measure paint, glue, tile, and substrate for contamination, the report said. Spending for this stage in its entirety is capped at $81,955. EnviroMed will test air quality indoors, as well as take “wipe” samples of nonporous surfaces to check for PCB presence.