We need to find out what happened with GHS fields

FI-Letter-to-the-EditorTo the Editor

Denise Savageau, town conservation director, should be thanked for being one of the few willing to actually respond in detail regarding one of the questions posed to the Board of Education for discussion regarding the proposed GHS remediation recommendations made in the feasibility study hearing last week.

Even the board was surprised, it appears, to learn that it’s not the decision-making body regarding those recommendations to EPA, DEEP, etc., or even in charge of the fields behind the school. That’s a different legal matter to be taken up separately.

Ms. Savageau, however, has now confirmed several key issues we have been raising.

First, she’s likely to be absolutely correct that the fly ash deposits dumped and graded into the wetlands behind GHS prior to 1970 did not contain PCBs. Also, that PCB contamination has very specific “fingerprints” that are likely to be easily traceable. While she does not think the town subsequently put PCB-contaminated material in the fields behind the school in its continuing effort to fill what she correctly characterized as a wetlands from 1975 on, if high levels of PCBs traceable to the Cos Cob power plant are now being found at the GHS site, and we believe they already have been, how did they get there?

We’ve already requested that other experts analyze the data submitted by AECOM and DTC currently in the hands of EPA and the town. That data, we believe, already shows that there is identifiable PCB contamination from the Cos Cob power plant (which was apparently the result of vandalism of old transformers, found in the 1980s). That contamination has now been found under the GHS fields.

Ms. Savageau’s institutional memory, along with the clearly identifiable nature of the contaminants that have been discovered at very high levels at the GHS fields, are critical to unearthing the true situation at the high school.

What some town representatives and consultants have told Greenwich citizens, the EPA and USACE to date is simply not consistent with the information now confirmed and the data already in hand.


Stephen Effros
Clifton, Va.


The author is the brother of a neighboring property owner of Greenwich High School.

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