The Town has been made aware of what appears to be pieces of siding shingles, which possibly could contain asbestos, along the sidewalk of Gould Manor Park on Holland Hill Road. The area in question is limited to the sidewalk area along the road and not the ball fields, playground, or park area. The Town is taking this issue very seriously.
In 2013 and 2014, there was work related to a new sidewalk and curb that were installed and as is typical, fill and topsoil were used to level out areas and taper off edges. The initial fill used was from the aggregate pile at the Public Works Yard, and due to recent concerns regarding the pile, the Town contacted the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) for guidance. DEEP came to the site today, August 7, 2019, to collect soil samples of the area and will test for a variety of different potential contaminants. The Town has requested that the results be expedited and should be available next week. At this point, testing is being conducted and no results indicating the presence of hazardous contaminants have been confirmed.
Once the results are received, the Town will take all necessary steps needed to resolve any issues that may be required to ensure the health and safety of residents. Out of an abundance of caution, the Town is meeting tomorrow morning with subject matter experts and we will put in place any recommended interim controls to limit potential exposure.
At this time, we do not believe the use of the park, playground, or ball fields will be significantly impacted. In regards to asbestos there are two main categories of asbestos. “Friable" asbestos can be easily reduced to powder by hand pressure (materials such as insulation and ceiling tiles) and "non-friable" asbestos cannot be (materials such as siding and roofing). In general, the more friable the material, the greater the potential for asbestos exposure. The pieces of siding shingles observed along the sidewalk are non-friable. Currently the Town is working to identify any other Town sites where this fill may have been used.