To the Editor:

Milford’s Public Works Director Chris Saley misled the City Board of Alderman by claiming FEMA and DEEP “require” the City to provide a Debris Management Site for disasters and proposed purchasing a $1.3 million piece of property along the Housatonic River. Saley also plans to use the property to dump untested PCB laced dredging material from the three duck ponds on this site.

None of the dredging material has been formally tested and initial testing revealed PCB’s and other toxic material. According to an interview with Saley in the Milford Mirror “Preliminary tests show that they have PCBs measuring less than one part per million, which the city could store and then cap on city property. But if the material comes in at higher levels, it will be more costly to dispose of. There is a potential for that,” Saley said. “The City has bonded $2 million already for the dredging and with the added cost of the property ($1.3 million) and additional costs for PCB removal, the City is looking at a more than $4 million beautifying project.”

Saley and Democratic Alderman insist the purchase is necessary because “DEEP requires a Debris Management Site” (DMS). According to DEEP, however, identifying a temporary site for debris storage after a disaster is “recommended”. Other options include mutual aid sites with other municipalities and state debris sites at no cost to the City or reimbursable by FEMA. In addition DMS cannot be within 100 feet of a water source. The site in question is directly on the Housatonic River.

The City has planned out hazard mitigation projects to protect its residents and coastal line in the event of a disaster. Neither plan suggests this project. In fact, there are several urgent projects recommended including environmental issues with the Beaverbrook Waste Water Treatment Plant.

This project that Saley and the Democratic Alderman propose is not recommended by experts, costly to the taxpayers and a potential environmental disaster.

We demand Democratic Alderman protect their constituents and City by demanding an environmental study of the impact dumping toxic PCB dredging material will have down river of the dump site in the Charles E Wheeler Wildlife Area, Nells Island, the Audubon Society Coastal Center, Duck Island, Cedar Beach, Laurel Beach, Wildermere Beach, Walnut Beach, Silver Sands Beach and Charles Island areas.

Read the State Dredging Material Site Plan here: http://www.ct.gov/deep/lib/deep/waste_management_and_disposal/debris_management/fact_sheet_for_towns_-_tdsrs_siting.pdf

Read the Milford Hazard Mitigation Plan here: http://www.ci.milford.ct.us/sites/milfordct/files/file/file/hazard_mitigation_plan_2013.pdf

Read the Milford Coastal Resiliency Plan here”  http://www.ci.milford.ct.us/sites/milfordct/files/milford_coastal_resilience_plan_draft_for_public_review_small.pdf

Renee Rickard Casey