BrownfieldsConnecticut Brownfield Sites
More than 290 sites in Connecticut have been identified as "Brownfield Sites." These are parcels of property once used for industrial, commercial or manufacturing and are now typically abandoned due to suspected contamination. Often these unused parcels adversely affect the quality of living in the area and may pose potential health risks to local citizens. Financial assistance is available from the state and federal governments to assess and remediate these sites.
Although Connecticut Brownfield sites near Brookfield contain:
Gasoline mercury
lead trichloroethylene
You will read articles on the Danbury Brownfield and its mercury contamination. Our focus will be on either gasoline, lead, mercury, or trichloroethylene contaminants. Choose one contaminant and answer the following bullets:

  • Identify the possible source of the contamination (type of industry)
  • Identify where your contaminant would be located with respect to the source (air, water, land, all)
  • Identify the possible effects of the contaminants on living things (human and non- human) in the environment
  • Develop a plan to test for the contaminant

Your task is to formulate a question about the contamination that may be answered through scientific investigation and to design the investigation.
Do not worry about the specific steps needed to isolate the contaminant or specific techniques used to measure the contaminant's effect on the environment. Focus on writing a general plan for your investigation including the independent and dependent variables to be studied, general procedures you will follow and the data you will collect.
· You may design an investigation that focuses on one specific chemical and its contamination plume at the site.
· You may consider where the sampling will occur (water, soil, air) and other parameters of the investigation such as the number of test sites, distances from the source, etc.
· You may design an investigation with a focus on one contaminant and its influence on a particular species of plant or animal in the area.

Cite your sources (not the assigned articles) in Noodletools.

Document 1

Paper No. 38-2 Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-4:30 PMMERCURY IN HOUSATONIC RIVER AND STILL RIVER SEDIMENTS: A LEGACY OF DANBURY (CT) HATMAKINGJALLOW, Billo, WELCH, Patrick, GOLDOFF, Beth, and VAREKAMP, Johan, Earth & Environmental Sciences, Wesleyan Univ, Middletown, CT 06459,
Mercury (Hg) concentrations were determined with a Direct Mercury Analyzer based on Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy in surface sediments from the Still River and Housatonic River as well as in cores from wetlands along these rivers. All surface samples have Hg concentrations that are well above the natural background of 50-100 parts per billion (ppb) and also above peak levels of Hg contamination found elsewhere in Connecticut (200-500 ppb). The Still River sediment samples have Hg concentrations that range from 1000 to 60,000 ppb Hg. The highest Hg concentrations are found in fine-grained, organic-rich sediments past the town of Brookfield, which was a secondary hat-making center after Danbury. A core from the northern sector of the Still River shows a Hg pollution profile with values up to 100,000 ppb Hg and 210Pb dates show an age around 1900 AD for that peak. Four cores from Long Island, Carting Island, Pope Island and Fowler Island in the lower section of the Housatonic River show Hg concentrations that range from ~300 to 5000 ppb Hg. A core from Knells Island in the Housatonic River shows a pollution profile that starts around 1820 AD, with a strong peak (1500 ppb Hg) in the 1970’s. The Housatonic River delta in Long Island Sound also has Hg levels up to 1200 ppb. The time of peak hat-production was around 1900 but this was also a very wet period in Southern New England, with major floods in the river basins. The Hg from Danbury hatmaking is stored in Danbury uplands and sediments of the Still River, and it has made its way downstream over time to the Housatonic River and Long Island Sound, especially during high-discharge periods of the rivers. Some cores in Long Island Sound show a distinct positive Hg anomaly around 1900 AD and 1955 AD, the two major episodes with catastrophic floods in Connecticut. This pattern of transport down river will continue in the future and citizens living on the banks of these rivers need to be aware of this contamination problem that is a legacy from industrial activities that took place 100-200 years ago.

Document 2


Release date: 03/14/2000
Contact Information: Alice Kaufman, EPA Community Affairs Office, external image cb_transparent_l.gifexternal image us.gifexternal image space.gifexternal image space.gifexternal image arrow.gifexternal image space.gifexternal image space.gifexternal image space.gifexternal image space.gifexternal image space.gifexternal image space.gifexternal image space.gif(617) 918-1064external image cb_transparent_r.gif

BOSTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this week completed a $550,000 hazardous waste cleanup at the Mallory Hat Factory site in Danbury, Connecticut.
During the five month cleanup EPA took down an unstable, 110-foot brick smokestack, removed approximately 4000 cubic yards of non-hazardous debris to reduce fire hazards in the abandoned factory buildings, and removed another 700 cubic yards of asbestos-containing building debris. Sampling results indicated that soils and trench materials on-site do not pose an immediate threat to public health.
"The cleanup work EPA did paves the way for a planned commercial revitalization of the property," said EPA Acting Regional Administrator Mindy S. Lubber. "This has been an impressive example of how environmental problems can be solved creatively when the resources of the local, state, and federal levels are pooled together."
"I am grateful to EPA for their investment in this Brownfields effort. It represents a return of federal tax dollars to our community," remarked Mayor Gene F. Eriquez. "Now we will begin the demolition and work to return this property to a productive use on our tax rolls, growing jobs, and sustaining our local economy."
"We have taken a piece of land that was once an environmental and economic burden on the City of Danbury and turned it into a new and safe property that will spur financial growth, produce tax dollars, and create new jobs for area residents," said Congressman Jim Maloney. "I am proud to have brought the City of Danbury and the Environmental Protection Agency together to cleanup the Mallory Hat Factory and renew this central Danbury neighborhood," Maloney concluded.
"I would like to extend my thanks and appreciation to Mayor Gene Eriquez, who provided essential resources throughout the cleanup project," remarked EPA On-Scene Coordinator Mary Ellen Stanton. "It was a great pleasure to work with the city of Danbury, and I wish them much luck as they continue their revitalization project at the Mallory Hat Factory site."
Last summer, the city used a $200,000 EPA Brownfields grant to inspect the site, revealing hazardous site conditions that prompted the city to ask EPA for further assistance. Brownfields are abandoned, idled or underused industrial and commercial properties where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by pollution. EPA's Brownfields grants are directed to the identification and assessment of these sites for development.
The 5-acre Mallory Hat Factory Site was originally owned by E. A. Mallory Company to manufacture hats with fur pelts. The company started up in 1860, and ended operations in 1969, when the factory was sold to the Danbury Hat Company. In 1987, the Danbury Hat Company filed for bankruptcy, which effectively ended hat manufacturing activity on-site.


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