The Town Council received an overview of an underground storage tank removal and replacement project, slated to be completed by Fuss & O’Neill, at its Nov. 24 meeting. The construction and removal work, which would be conducted at five sites in town, is expected to cost approximately $539,000.
Director of Public Works Chris Nowacki explained to the body that his department has been working on project proposals with Fuss & O’Neill, a civil and environmental engineering consulting firm, for several months. Together, the groups have evaluated conditions, completed testings to verify materials in the ground around the storage tanks, inspected monitoring systems, produced a summary, and completed Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) notifications, Nowacki said. Based on project analyses, it is believed the town is now prepared to take on the project — a five-year, all-inclusive removal plan that involves the elimination of 11 underground storage tanks, he said.
The project has come to the forefront, Nowacki said, because a number of underground storage tanks (USTs) in town are reaching the end of their life expectancy. If the proposed removal and replacement work contract by Fuss & O’Neill is approved, the underground tanks will be removed, and the plan is to move the sites in question to an aboveground storage tank (AST) system. Work is slated to be completed in five locations — Stepney Firehouse No. 2, Stevenson Firehouse, Wolfe Park, Town Hall, and both the Department of Public Works bus barn and garage.
In a Nov. 20 letter to First Selectman Steve Vavrek, Town Attorney John Fracassini said he ultimately recommended that the town consider signing the Fuss & O’Neill contract. He explained that the project — which covers site investigation as well as the actual construction and/or removal work — would cost $494,599.44. Adding in the possible need for alternatives to the proposed construction plans, which would require an additional $45,079, the project’s possible total expenditure would be $539,678.44. If site investigation and analysis work at the five proposed sites makes further remediation work necessary due to the presence of contaminated soil, the cost could change, he added. Given the project’s potential price tag, Fracassini said, he believed a town meeting to approve the work would be required under the Town Charter, as the amount of money in question likely qualifies as a “special appropriation.”
In a Fuss & O’Neill presentation to the Town Council, Deb Denfeld explained that the company is looking for a way to continue fuel storage in Monroe in a safer manner that also complies with state regulations. There are several issues to worry about, she said, with an underground storage tank system, which the town currently uses. For one, the system requires the handling of many parts, including overflow devices, steel tanks, overfill alarms, a turbine sump, and other such components, Denfeld said. In addition, many of Monroe’s USTs are 90% filled and are about to reach their 30-year life span. Meanwhile, some containment sumps are not always in place, and UST operators — which are required by law as of this past August — are not present, she said.
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