State Official: New Harding Site Safe And Clean

Harding first day
Students report to first day of school at Harding. Photo: Brian A. Pounds / Hearst Connecticut Media

From Linda Conner Lambeck, CT Post:

The lead, arsenic and petroleum-based chemicals have been removed or buried.

Tests, according to a new mound of paperwork filed with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, have come back clean.

The 17.2 acres on Bond Street where the new Warren Harding High School sits, once considered a toxic brownfield, now meets residential standards, according to Amanda Killeen, an environmental analyst for DEEP.

“The school parcel is safe and clean,” said Killeen, who has worked on the project for 10 years. “I would absolutely send my kids there. The school grounds have been tested and remediated and constructed with the safety of the children and faculty in mind.”

Full story here.



  1. “…The lead, arsenic and petroleum-based chemicals have been removed or buried…”

    It is truly, a beautiful, state-of-the-art school. But other cities, such as LA, have used known brownfields for schools and then discovered, after the fact, that there had been an “oops!” with clean-up oversight and methodology… In one, recent, notable case, a new, state-of-the-art LA high school had to be abandoned and razed because of an “oops!” that occurred in the highly-public, journalistically-monitored, state-directed, clean-up of a repurposed high-school site… But we all know that Connecticut would never screw up like that… Especially in its largest city…

    When one ponders the words, “…The lead, arsenic and petroleum-based chemicals have been removed or buried…”, one has to wonder about how wise it is to repurpose land with “lead, arsenic and petroleum-based chemicals” in it for residential or educational-institution purposes… Ground-water fluctuations, soil-settling effects, and natural earth movements have a way of moving and shifting buried materials over time — and not always that much time… (Even sea-level rise could cause big issues in this regard…) Are there monitors for toxic emissions in the school and on the grounds?

    I don’t know where Amanda Killeen’s kids go to school, but I bet that isn’t on a reclaimed brownfields site. I hope that she made sure that there are plenty of monitors installed in the school and on the property just in case an “oops!” occurred and toxic substances are finding their way into the air and ground water on the site… (It might be an interesting exercise for the chemistry classes at the school to conduct soil and groundwater analyses from site-samples, periodically, as part of their lab work. And of course, they could also be taught to collect air samples at various locations of the school and site and send them to private labs for toxic-gases testing, and use the results for a study of the gas laws and petroleum-distillate and gaseous-ion testing… It could be a learning experience that serves to keep them safe…)

    When GE gave us the land, it had to make us wonder why they would be so generous… Right? Did any GE executives come by for the first of day of classes?


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