Local residents expressed their concerns about well-water contamination as a result of the to city and state officials on Monday evening.
Long-disturbed by the presence of the Scofieldtown landfill, over 70 Stamford residents gathered in 's gym to comment on the to close and cap the dump.
"Tonight's discussion is really about the landfill closure," said city engineer Lou Casolo.
Casolo also admitted that the end-use plan for the landfill closure "hasn't been fully developed." Earlier this year, the city of Stamford submitted a $4.4 million plan to DEEP to close the dump.
Citizens such as Seth Kivelli, a member of North Stamford Concerned Citizens for the Environment (NSCCE), a group largely responsible for arranging the public hearing, feel as though they've been here before.
"This isn't about politics, it's a state groundwater problem," Kivelli said during his public comments. "History is important, so that certain repetitive patterns and mistakes do not continue."
NSCCE president Karen DeFalco described the Scofieldtown landfill as a "bane" to the community as long as she's been part of it. "Drums were coming out of the earth every year, every five years, every ten years, and then they'd disappear, and then they'd come back again," DeFalco said. "There was never any oversight, there was never any communication from the city or the state letting the community know what was going on."
TRC Environmental Corporation's senior hydrogeologist Sarah Trombetta elaborated on one of the most critical steps towards closing the landfill: identifying the damage.
"The off-site impact evaluation is approximately a year-long study that will first and foremost determine the nature and the extent of the migration of any contaminants from the landfill both within the site and off-site," Trombetta said.
TRC project manager Carl Stopper followed Trombetta by summarizing the goals behind capping the landfill. "Essentially, the landfill was operated for many years, various wastes were deposited there and what we want to do is eliminate direct exposure of anyone to those waste materials that are within the landfill," Stopper said. "We want a capping system that will be as flexible as possible, allowing you to use the site as you like in the future."
"We don't know at this time if the cap will be concurrent with the end-use," Casolo stated before opening the floor for public comments.
While Stamford's environmental representatives could not offer firm dates for the either the evaluation's end or a total cleanup of all the damage that the landfill has caused, they provided satisfactory explanations for some of the mistakes of the past.
"The subject of testing is something that we all agree on; the how is where we disagree," one DEEP representative said.
"The city and the state provided good explanations for the landfill closure plan," Bruce Hubbard, an NSCCE board member and private New York attorney, said. "Our concern was that they go deeper than that, look at all the sites around the landfill, and really don't forget the ultimate purpose is to determine the source of the contaminants of the wells."
Concerned citizens that didn't speak at the hearing will have until August 14 to submit written comments. At that point, DEEP, TRC, and the city of Stamford will decide how to best proceed with the closure in a manner that satisfies everyone.
"I really want to see this get done, I really want to see this get done right," NSCCE member Jay Crutcher said during public comment.