Following "best practices" in the treatment of contaminated soil on land Dollar Tree wants to develop into a distribution center will ensure the public's safety, according to State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) representative Dennis Schain.
The development of former agricultural lands containing pesticides is "a fairly common issue, and we've made available best practices," Schain said, who added that the department's guidelines are intended to mitigate "direct exposure to chemicals in the soil," and will keep people from touching contaminants or walking through them.
According to Schain, best practices suggested by the department include the removal of the top layer of soil, putting contaminated soil underneath parking lots or buildings and beneath berms.
On April 5, Dollar Tree attorney Tom Fahey, , said the company has found levels of chlordane and dieldren in the soil.
The two chemicals are pesticides, banned since the 1980's due to the fact they have been discovered to be carcinogens.
Fahey also said the levels of contamination found, while not specifying what those levels were, did not exceed levels that qualify for a "significant environmental hazard," and that the project "does not need to comply with RSR," remediation standard regulations of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
Bill Goggins, Vice President of Newport News, Virginia's Clancy & Theys, the construction company contracted to build the proposed distribution center, said Monday his company has presented plans concerning the treatment of pesticides to the town and to DEEP.
DEEP will subsequently draft a statement saying whether or not Clancy & Theys' plans will sufficiently protect the public from the harmful chemicals on the plot, Schain said.
DEEP provides developers with a set of guidelines for building of former agricultural properties.
Included in those guidelines (the latest version having been drafted in 1999) is an examination of the site's history and sampling of surface soil (between the surface and three inches deep is ideal).
Also included in those guidelines is the statement that development on former agricultural properties "do not specifically fall under the "Remediation Standard Regulations."
The guidelines, according to DEEP's Website, were drafted in response to concern about public health and are meant to address those concerns while leaving "a degree of flexibility" for developers.
Dollar Tree's application for construction will come before Windsor's Inlad Wetlands and Watercourses Commission Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in Town Hall Council Chambers.