Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce

Tighe & Bond Completes Environmental Cleanup & Restoration

Tighe & Bond recently completed the environmental cleanup and restoration of Long Beach West, marking the end of a two-year long project aimed at protecting a critical piece of Connecticut’s shoreline for people, wildlife, plants and fish.  This promises to be a new beginning for wildlife and recreation possibilities along this 1.5 mile shoreline in the Town of Stratford.   Although the habitat restoration is an ongoing effort, the hazardous materials and debris that littered this picturesque 35-acre barrier beach are gone, the demolition of more than 60 abandoned, deteriorating buildings is complete and habitat restoration is well on its way. 

“The Long Beach West Restoration Project has been a high priority for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USF&W).  This coastal area is recognized as one of 17 Inaugural Long Island Sound Stewardship sites in Connecticut in the 2006 Stewardship Atlas.  In addition, it is an Audubon Important Bird Area and part of a global network of places essential to the survival of priority bird species,” says Dale Aubin, Senior Contracting Officer with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Region 5.  “Tighe & Bond was instrumental in planning and expediting the restoration of this important shoreline and habitat,” he adds.  

Tighe & Bond played a key role in PCB investigation, remediation design and cleanup oversight since 2009 when the USF&W first hired the firm to oversee the Long Beach West cleanup. Until 1996, Long Beach West had been an active summer community but was abandoned after a fire destroyed the bridge that connected the beach and peninsula with the City of Bridgeport.   Dilapidated structures posed a safety hazard.  Debris, trash, contaminants and outdated septic systems littered the site and PCBs had been released into the environment through deterioration and weathering of industrial grade paint on one of the buildings. Subsequently, paint chips were released into the environment and impacted the beach over a wide area.

 As part of the remediation plan for this site, Tighe & Bond developed the investigation and cleanup approach under state and federal PCB cleanup regulations.  The firm also negotiated cleanup goals with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (CTDEP), as well as managed the hazardous materials abatement and demolition of PCB impacted buildings and cleanup of impacted sand.  Buildings needed to be demolished and disposed of as a Toxic Substance Control Act waste, as well as the impacted sand. Tighe & Bond submitted a Self-Implementing Cleanup Plan to EPA and CTDEP for approval under an expedited basis.  

This high profile project, funded by $909,000 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) dollars, offered some unique challenges because of its location in a sensitive environmental setting consisting of a barrier beach and an adjacent residential community.  Partly because of this, the project has attracted plenty of media attention, support from government officials and collaboration among project partners.  Audubon Connecticut, The Nature Conservancy, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and various other trusts, foundations and environmental organizations are among the project’s Partners.

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