On June 8, 2019, a malfunctioning fire alarm pull box in a private aircraft hangar at Bradley International Airport caused its fire suppression system to discharge for six minutes, releasing approximately 40,000 gallons of aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). While an emergency contractor retained by Signature Flight, the owner of the hangar, captured nearly half of the AFFF onsite, the remainder of the foam traveled from the floor drains through an oil-water separator to the municipal sanitary sewer system. Foam was observed exiting sewer manholes on Rainbow Road in Windsor that evening, and the same contractor was called in to remove the foam. Overnight, the foam entered the MDC wastewater treatment plant in Windsor and ultimately discharged to the Farmington River the following morning. Booms and a vacuum truck were deployed to trap and remove as much foam as possible from the surface of the river.
The Farmington River is safe for recreational uses (e.g., swimming, boating, catch-and-release fishing). As of February 4, 2020, the Department of Public Health (DPH) is advising that no more than one meal per month of fish caught from the Farmington River downstream of Rainbow Dam to the Connecticut River be eaten. This consumption advisory may be revised in the future. This advisory does not apply to shad, which are safe to eat.
Immediately following the incident, the DPH had advised that fish caught from the Farmington River downstream of Rainbow Dam to the Connecticut River should not be eaten. This advisory was updated by DPH on February 4, 2020 based on decreased levels of PFAS found in fish collected in late September 2019. Future sampling of fish from the Farmington River may occur, and this consumption advisory may be revised if lower levels of PFAS in the fish tissue are found.
Several rounds of water sampling have confirmed that levels of PFAS in the Farmington River were elevated immediately after the foam release but dropped significantly in the following days and returned to safe levels by June 21. Sampling of liquids and sludge at the MDC treatment plant and of fish collected downstream of the MDC outfall, and at an upstream control location on the Farmington River, occurred during the week of July 8, 2019. A second round of fish sampling occurred in late September, 2019.
DEEP is working with Signature Flight to remediate their hangar and grounds, assess the impact of the AFFF release on the sewer system and surrounding areas, and assess additional ecological impacts on the Farmington River.
For information on the difference between AFFF foam and naturally-occurring foam that is often seen on the surface of water bodies, please see PFAS Foam on Lakes and Streams (Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy).
The Governor formed the Connecticut Interagency Task Force subsequent to this release.
DEEP Remediation Division Update – July 12, 2019
Results of initial water sampling – This report contains information on the initial June 8 release and the water sampling performed on June 9 and 11, 2019.
DEEP Presentation at Windsor Public Information Meeting, July 2, 2019
The Tylerville section of Haddam relies upon groundwater as the sole drinking water supply to residences and commercial properties. Groundwater in Tylerville has been impacted by historic releases of chlorinated solvents, 1,4-dioxane (a solvent stabilizer), and methyl-tert butyl ether (MTBE). No public water utility currently exists for the impacted area. Therefore, parcels with water supply wells impacted with contaminants above applicable state and federal criteria currently utilize individual filtration systems and/or receive bottled water for consumptive use.
DEEP has completed a water supply engineering study on behalf of the Town of Haddam evaluating alternatives to provide a reliable, long-term source of potable water to Tylerville, where groundwater contamination has polluted residential drinking water wells and threatened many others. The recommended alternative is extension of the 8-inch water main from Chester to Haddam to serve the affected area.
A combined Public Hearing on the draft engineering study and Scoping Meeting pursuant to the Connecticut Environmental Policy Act was held on June 21, 2017. The final engineering study including the responses to comments received during the public comment period can be viewed below.
Tylerville Center State Superfund Site contains a background summary of the project.
Durham Meadows Federal Superfund Site encompasses an area along Route 17 in Durham. Chlorinated solvents and 1,4-dioxane (a solvent stabilizer) from two metal box manufacturers, the former Merriam Manufacturing Company (MMC) and the Durham Manufacturing Company (DMC), have polluted or potentially polluted over 100 private wells.
As a short-term remedy, bottled water or individual treatment systems have been provided to residents to remove contaminants from their well water. Extension of public water from the City of Middletown Water Distribution System to the Superfund Site area is the selected permanent solution to address the widespread pollution of domestic wells. The installation of the water main extension, which will run along Route 17 from Middletown to the Superfund Site area, commenced in the September 2019. Construction was discontinued in winter 2019 and will resume in early spring 2020. EPA posts updates on the water line project at Water Line Construction Progress Reports.
Environmental cleanup at the former MMC Facility was completed in 2012. Cleanup at the DMC facility is pending, based upon the availability of federal funding.
Durham Meadows Superfund Site contains a background summary of the project.
Durham Meadow Federal Superfund Site - USEPA website containing the site description, history, actions to date, and EPA contacts for the Durham Meadows Site.
Town Of Durham Groundwater Ordinance – Link to the Town of Durham’s groundwater management zone established to prevent use of groundwater for domestic purposes within the Durham Meadows Superfund Site.
Raymark Industries, Stratford - This link to the USEPA website contains the site description, history, actions to date, and site contacts for the Raymark NPL site.
Stratford Health Department Raymark webpage contains a great deal of information on the remediation project, health related issues, and local stakeholders.
Raymark Industries Superfund Site contains a brief overview of the Raymark remediation project.
Public Act 12-122, AN ACT REQUIRING THE COMMISSIONER OF CONSUMER PROTECTION TO MAKE CHANGES TO THE RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY CONDITION DISCLOSURE REPORT (effective 7/1/12)
Special Act 12-7, AN ACT CONCERNING SOURCES OF REVENUE FOR THE REMEDIATION OF THE RAYMARK SUPERFUND SITE (effective 10/1/12)
For information on other remediation projects, please contact staff in the Remediation Division at 860-424-3705.
Content Last Updated February 27, 2020