East Windsor site removed from federal Superfund priorities list

Jesse Leavenworth, Hartford Courant
·2 min read

A once contaminated industrial and residential site in East Windsor no longer poses a significant threat to public health and has been removed from the federal Superfund priority list, officials announced Monday.

Under state oversight, parties responsible for the Broad Brook Mill site, including Raytheon Technologies, have been successfully cleaning up the area, a news release from the federal Environmental Protection Agency said.

“EPA believes that (the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection) has and will continue to ensure all appropriate investigations and cleanup actions are performed pursuant to its state cleanup authority,” the release said.

“This is welcomed news,” First Selectman Jason E. Bowsza said. “While there is still much work to be done to return the parcel to its highest and best use, the withdrawal of EPA from the remediation sends a strong signal that the efforts of Raytheon , CTDEEP and the town are moving in the right direction.”

The 10.6-acre parcel at at 110 Main St. was formerly known as the Millbrook Condominiums site. The property consists of a larger, rear parcel occupied by a former industrial mill building that had been converted into 21 condominiums, which were occupied until 2004, and a front parcel with a commercial complex and a two-story historic office building, according to DEEP.

United Technologies Co., now part of Raytheon, bought the parcel with the 21 condos and 58 units to the west of the site were legally separated.

The site hosted industrial businesses dating back to at least 1835, when a woolen mill displaced earlier gristmills, sawmills and a tannery. In 1849, the Broad Brook Company bought the mill and continued manufacturing woolen products until 1951. To provide power for the woolen mill, the Broad Brook Company operated a coal gasification plant on the site, which resulted in contamination.

In 1954, the Hamilton Standard Division of United Aircraft Corporation (later known as Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation) purchased the property and owned it until 1977. From 1954 to 1967, the company made printed circuit boards at the site, releasing contaminants into the soil and groundwater, according to the EPA.

A 2002 report from the state Department of Public Health found substances such as boron, mercury, chromium, lead, zinc and coal tar were in the soil at levels exceeding amounts the state considered acceptable.

Up to $3.9 million of state funds was allocated to address contamination pre-dating UTC operation, according to DEEP. Although the clean-up is not finished, there is no current risk to human health, the EPA release on Monday said.

Jesse Leavenworth can be reached at jleavenworth@courant.com