Oak Hills chemicals yet to be inspected

The Oak Hills Park Authority is storing hazardous material in a large warehouse that was inspected by the fire marshal Wednesday and found to be secure, according to the golf course superintendent. (Photo by Yvonne Lopaur)
The Oak Hills Park Authority is storing hazardous material in a large warehouse that has yet to be inspected by the fire marshal. (Photo by Yvonne Lopaur)

NORWALK, Conn. – A Norwalk fire marshal has contradicted an impression given at Thursday’s Oak Hills Park Authority (OHPA) meeting.

As part of a conversation about chemicals and pesticides stored at the Oak Hills Golf Course, OHPA Chairman Clyde Mount said, “The fire department was there yesterday and did an inspection of the containers,” and asked superintendent Jim Shell what the result was.

Schell said, “Our stickers are faded, we need to update those,” giving the impression that that’s all there was to it.

Fire Marshall Broderick Sawyer said he had been at Oak Hills, but had not gotten inside the storage facility.

“I did not see the chemicals or the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) information pertaining to the chemicals on site,” Sawyer wrote in an email. “I did note that placarding on the outside of the storage container had faded. I did not have access to the interior of the storage container.”

Sawyer said he could not make a determination until all pertinent information has been gathered.

“Once Mr. Schell or his representative meets with me on site and until we have access to all information and their storage facilities, no determination will be made from the Fire Marshal’s Office as to compliance,” Sawyer wrote.

Sawyer said he had called and left a message for Schell with the course mechanic. He went to the site anyway because he had been contacted by a concerned neighbor, he said.

“We would have to see the MSDS information,” Sawyer wrote. “OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) regulations I believe apply, too. Employee training in the use of the chemicals and the quantities used when applying. Many variables in making a determination in the use at OHPA.”

Mount did not reply to a Saturday email asking for a response.


4 responses to “Oak Hills chemicals yet to be inspected”

  1. Suzanne

    Mr. Mount and Mr. Shell, As a person who appreciates golf and loves the Oak Hills golf course, this article, unfortunately, says it all. You want your opposition to just go away or to keep quiet about issues that concern them yet you totally misrepresent how this issue, use of chemicals, pesticides and herbicides, was handled by the Fire Marshall.
    The more you publicly dismiss such concerns, the more you obfuscate, the more you treat your fellow citizens and fellow taxpayers in this deriding way, the more problems you are going to bring to your door. You see, people don’t like being lied to. They don’t like their concerns to be disrespected, just like you do not.
    Oak Hills is a large public property allowed to be primarily accessed by a very few. The outstanding debt service to the City of Norwalk, which is supposed to be reported regularly on a public basis, remains substantial. That taxpayers would be concerned about its management makes sense.
    That you would be dishonest about any part of that management is a disservice to the public part of this public park and golf course.
    Now, would you like to make public again what you know about chemical use, other than from a company, SavALawn whose entire business profitability depends upon use of those chemicals, at Oak Hills?

  2. Oldtimer

    Fire marshal was there but did not gain entrance to the shed ? Photo shows three doors and only one padlock. Isn’t that an obvious dangerous violation ? Is Mr Shell the only one who has access and the ability to let the fire marshal in ? I suppose that is possible, but it strains belief.


    Shouldn’t the Health Dept. also be involved ?

  4. One and Done

    I guess the mosque doesn’t care about locating next to this superfund site.

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