Highlight of Events of the Newhall Remediation Project:
2000: Soil contamination is discovered at Hamden Middle School during planning for expansion.
2001-02: Soil sampling begins at school, town parks and residences. Groundwater monitoring wells are installed.
2003: Consent Order is signed by Olin Corporation, Town of Hamden, Regional Water Authority and Department of Environmental Protection as Responsible Parties charged with the cleanup of the Newhall neighborhood.
2004: Workplans to test 300+ private properties, Mill Rock Park, Rochford Field and Hamden Middle School are developed. Connecticut Department of Public Health and DEP hold public forums and print materials to educate residents on the contamination and how to reduce the risk of exposure to it.
2005: Soil testing on all properties is completed. Three responsible parties (Olin, RWA and the Town) propose cleanup remedies.
2006: DEP issues a Draft Remedy Selection Plan that defines how the plan will be carried out.
2007: After significant public comment, the Final Remedy Selection Plan is published. Cleanup will begin at the non-public, mostly residential properties.
2008: Olin develops a Final Generic Remedial Action Plan for residential cleanup. It provides detail on excavating and removing fill located within the top four feet, backfilling with clean soil and restoring preexisting features (vegetation, driveways, patios, etc.) disturbed by construction.
2009: Olin begins developing first Property Specific Remedial Action Plans for each of the 240 properties where waste fill is removed. Town begins planning with community for a neighborhood vision, including reuse of the former Hamden Middle School. Town updates its zoning code to form Special Design District for neighborhood which eliminated need for an Environmental Land Use Restriction on the owner's deed. Approval is granted to use the excavated materials to cap the Tire Pond, located on the Hamden/North Haven line. This saves millions in transport and tipping fees and speeds up the time it will take to do the cleanup.
2010: In August cleanup begins on the first 26 properties. Renewal of properties (New sod, shrubs, fences, sidewalks) is evident and encourages reluctant property owners to participate. Town begins evaluating homes for structural damage caused by being built over unstable soil.
2011: Cleanup proceeds at a faster-than-anticipated pace. 114 properties are cleaned up.
2012: Residential cleanup is completed, bringing the total to 240 individual properties. Only two owners chose not to participate.
2013: Plans are underway to place a permanent cap on Rochford Field and Mill Rock Park. DEEP will continue the environmental investigation at about 12 homes in the St. Mary Street area not covered by the Consent Order.
2014: The former Hamden Middle School on Newhall Street will be cleaned up, marking the end of the project.