Oak Hills oil tank cleanup estimate: at least $33K

All of the oil tanks at Oak Hills park are relatively new and above ground, Executive Director Shelley Guyer said.

NORWALK, Conn. – The minimum cost for the cleanup of three Oak Hills Park leaking oil tanks is currently estimated to be $33,000, but could escalate depending on the amount of environmental damage, Oak Hills Park Authority members said last week.

Department of Public Works Director Hal Alvord is working on determining how deep contractors will have to go to remove contaminated soil, members said at Thursday’s meeting.

The last of the three tanks was removed in December, OHPA acting Chairman Clyde Mount said. Two other oil tanks were removed earlier last year, he said. All date back to the 1960s, he said.

Former OHPA Chairman Bob Virgulak said in June that golfers would not pay for the remediation. The city would have to pay for it, he said. Current members have not commented on the topic in as emphatic terms, but OHPA member Ernie Desrochers did mention, with a slight grin, at last week’s meeting that the tanks should have been taken out when the authority was formed in 1999.

Mount said they should have been removed 15 years after being installed.

Golf course Superintendent Jim Schell delivered the report of the updated estimate from Enviroshield, the company selected to do the remediation.

“The company came onto the property and did the three sites with nine total truckloads removed from the property and the cost was about $33,000 and change,” he said. “I think that’s reasonable. It could escalate. … There is no guarantee, it could be nine trucks, it could be less, it could be more. I think that’s as best as we can expect from any company.”

He expressed faith in Enviroshield.

“Everything they have submitted to us has been very thorough, including anything you could possibly think of,” he said.

The Finance Department and DPW are reviewing the proposal, members said.

The sites have been capped and backfilled in compliance with Department of Energy and Environmental (DEEP) standards, they said.

“We know for sure there are no other tanks underground,” park Executive Director Shelley Guyer said. “Every other tank is above ground and is relatively new.”


6 responses to “Oak Hills oil tank cleanup estimate: at least $33K”

  1. spanner

    Trusting Hal is like buying fireworks off of three fingers Eddie its a joke.

    How can anyone trust a city that builds a public park on top of a hazardous waste site the lets a childrens playground go in next to a sewer transmission line that includes waste from Kings idustries that so far has broke twice under the so called cap and buries hazardous waste in the middle of a river in cells and assumes it will all go away with time.

    Dont worry Norwalk has the money to clean up anything just read todays New York times page 7 Rowayton has the money they “pay their share of Norwalk taxes,making their overall taxes 30 to 40 percent higher than neighboring suburbs.” read the article its very good.

    The facts on Oak Hills is not making any sense to those who have chased contamination for a living,describe a truckload how deep or how far this is absurd Norwalk and Rowayton deserve better.Did Moccia give Hal his crystal ball or just his playbook?

  2. Oldtimer

    If Enviroshield removed the tanks and nine truckloads of contaminated soil and then capped and filled the sites, why is anybody talking about further remediation ? Is it possible that a licensed cleanup contractor would knowingly bury a contaminated site ? Is DEEP pressuring the OHPA to dig up the sites and look for more contaminated soil ? Is more work really needed, or is OHPA just trying to get the cost of work already done reimbursed by the City ?

  3. EveT

    @Oldtimer: The contaminated soil is still in the ground. No excavation or remediation has been done, except to remove the tanks and properly cap the areas pending remediation.

  4. jlightfield

    What is it with Norwalk? Oak Hills Park is a City asset, and the financial three card monte that passes as the City’s budget every year just moves revenue producing assets to “authorities” to somehow portray some sense of “keeping expenses” in check, or something like that.
    The budget infamously never funds maintenance, thus we are left with the yearly “unexpected” expense. A few mealy mouthed, let fees pay for it, and lots of wasted energy spent dealing with infrastructure problems that are now more costly.
    It wouldn’t be so hard to require that all departments and authorities develop a 5-10 year maintenance plan for all city properties so that that the size and scope of the problem can be assessed and planned for.

  5. Dawn

    Why dpi pay for a golf course again? Why is that not a private enterprise again. Why should so much money go to benefit such a few. Why should I not have free use of a park that my tax dollars pay for.
    Just a few question from little old uneducated me.

  6. Dear Dawn,

    Just for clarity, I think it is important to know that there is no budget or expense line in the city for Oak Hills maintenance. The way the city helps the park is through granting financing which the golfers and tennis players at the facility actually pay back to the city. So while it is a belief that the tax payers of Norwalk pay for the facility, they in fact do not. It is only those who chose to play Tennis or Golf that do pay. On the flip side, these same people who are residents, also pay taxes and support the other 1215 acres of park land that the city does have a budget line and expense for. We are grateful to the City for their guidance and loans when we needed them. But for the record, we are current and have not been forgiven any portion of the money that was borrowed. No burden on anyone other than tennis players and golfers at this time.

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