Thursday, September 19, 2019
Fields Update:

Margaret Harvey's Connecticut Department of Health Letter - 9/17/2019

Good afternoon

We have received additional results on the playscapes at Dwight, Stratfield, and Holland Hill elementary schools. The full test results are available at https://fairfieldschools.org/business-services/field-testing-updates/

Initial results from soil samples at these playscapes indicated that contaminants exceeded the Connecticut DEEP Residential Direct Exposure Criteria. The Town of Fairfield consulted with Meg Harvey from the Connecticut Department of Health about these results. Ms. Harvey has concluded that because the soil is beneath one to two feet of mulch, and because that mulch is protected by rubber matting beneath the swings the playscapes can re-open. In her letter (which is attached to this communication), she notes that the mulch barrier at Holland Hill needed additional mulch. Mulch, and rubber matting, was added today at Holland Hill and tomorrow we will open all three playscapes for use.

We have and will continue to make our decisions based on the safety and security of children and we use the guidance of experts like Ms. Harvey to make those determinations. Ms. Harvey states in her letter, “Without frequent and ongoing contact with the soil, there are no exposures that would pose a public health concern.”

It is believed the current levels are evidence of past playground equipment including pressure treated timbers and tires used for climbing play

Testing results for the older playscape at McKinley and the playscape to the right of Jennings demonstrate a need for a remediation plan. We are still waiting for the test results to the playscape to the left of Jennings. Those playscape results remain closed.

Thank you for your continued patience with the testing process.

Take care, Mike

Michael Cummings
Superintendent of Schools
Fairfield Public Schools

@FairfieldSuper

Tuesday, September 10, 2019
Fields Update:

Fairfield BOE Letter - 09/10/2019

This is an update on the testing of school fields. There are several pieces of information here. The first is on the field tests conducted by the Fairfield Public Schools. The second to last paragraph details additional areas related to the fill pile at two of our schools. One of these sites, at Osborn Hill, will require further testing. Please see below for details.

We have received testing results on the following school sites:

  • North Stratfield Elementary Schools
  • Osborn Hill Elementary Schools
  • Roger Sherman Elementary Schools
  • Stratfield Elementary Schools
  • Roger Ludlowe Middle School
  • Fairfield Ludlowe High School, including Sturges
  • Fairfield Warde High School

Testing for all of the above schools indicate that the fields are safe for use and available for activities and games.

Initial testing results on all of these fields had indicated the presence of pesticides. We have worked with the town and state health officials to review the cause of those pesticides and any danger they might pose to students and staff. We have used organic fertilizers and pesticides on all of our elementary and middle school fields since at least 2000. That is state law. I have attached a letter from the state Department of Public Health indicating that the fields are safe for human contact. The pesticide results are likely due to former use of since-banned products whose presence remains in the soil. These remnants do not pose risk to humans although if there were wells in the area they would be a concern. Again, please see the accompanying documentation for confirmation on these results.

As of tonight, we are still waiting for results of the playscape testing. I hope to have that to you soon.

Finally, late on Tuesday, September 10, we learned that the town had identified additional school sites where fill from the pile had been used. A site at Tomlinson is under a paved area and is not considered a risk at this point because it is contained. At Osborn Hill fill was used during drainage work in 2016. That site is off the field, close to the baseball field. Students will not be able to use the baseball field until the site that requires further testing is assessed and roped off. Students may use other parts of the field. An additional site at Osborn Hill was identified but like the site at Tomlinson, that second site is under pavement.

My thanks to our community for their patience as we took these steps to assure the safety of our children. My great thanks to our administrators and teachers who made adjustments, changed schedules, and worked with parents, student-athletes, and all of our students to make this process work as smoothly as possible. I very much appreciate the frustration with the timeline of this work. Please know that we will continue to keep safety first in our decisions and actions.

Michael Cummings
Superintendent of Schools
Fairfield Public Schools

@FairfieldSuper

Friday, September 6, 2019
Fields Update:

Field testing is complete at all locations, but there is a delay in processing the testing results. Unfortunately, we continue to wait for testing results on both the grass areas at some schools as well as all of the playscapes at the elementary schools. We are striving to bring you the most accurate and complete testing analysis.

I very much understand the frustration with the pace of progress. We continue to push for the results and we will work with the town and state health officials to communicate those results to you as quickly as possible.

Michael Cummings
Superintendent of Schools
Fairfield Public Schools

@FairfieldSuper

Sunday, August 25, 2019
Fields Update:

With the release of the testing results yesterday by the town we are taking two actions guided by student and staff safety. First, given the proximity of the test sites at Jennings, Mill Hill and Riverfield which raised concerns we are going to close our playscape areas at all schools and test the soil beneath those areas. We will also secure more information on the mulch we use and post that information online. We will work to complete tests and provide information as quickly as possible.

Second, we are going to open the five fields that have been cleared by the testing results at Burr, McKinley, North Stratfield, Dwight, and Fairfield Woods. We will continue to provide updates as they are available.

Michael Cummings
Superintendent of Schools
Fairfield Public Schools

@FairfieldSuper

For more information, visit the Town of Fairfield’s website

click here

List of fields where testing is occurring

School Location Status Enclosures
Burr Elementary SchoolPlayscapeOpenSample Results
Burr Elementary SchoolSoccer FieldOpenSample Results (Town of Fairfield)
Dwight Elementary SchoolPlayscapeOpenSample Results
Dwight Elementary SchoolSoccer FieldOpenSample Results (Town of Fairfield)
Dwight Elementary SchoolBaseball OutfieldOpenSample Results (Town of Fairfield)
Holland Hill Elementary SchoolPlayscapeOpenSample Results (Town of Fairfield) Sample Results
Holland Hill Elementary SchoolSoccer FieldOpenSample Results (Town of Fairfield)
Jennings Elementary SchoolPlayscapeClosedSample Results
Jennings Elementary SchoolSoccer FieldOpenSample Results (Town of Fairfield)
McKinley Elementary SchoolPlayscapeClosedSample Results
McKinley Elementary SchoolSoccer FieldOpenSample Results (Town of Fairfield)
Mill Hill Elementary SchoolWalkway to Lower PlaygroundClosedSample Results (Town of Fairfield)
Mill Hill Elementary SchoolPlayscapeOpenSample Results
North Stratfield Elementary SchoolPlayscapeOpenSample Results
North Stratfield Elementary SchoolSoccer FieldOpenSample Results (Town of Fairfield) Sample Results
Osborn Hill Elementary SchoolPlayscapeOpenSample Results
Osborn Hill Elementary SchoolSoftball FieldOpenSample Results
Riverfield Elementary SchoolBaseball FieldOpenSample Results (Town of Fairfield)
Riverfield Elementary SchoolPlayscapeOpenSample Results (Town of Fairfield) Sample Results
Riverfield Elementary SchoolSoccer FieldOpenSample Results (Town of Fairfield)
Roger Sherman Elementary SchoolPlayscapeOpenSample Results
Roger Sherman Elementary SchoolSoccer FieldOpenSample Results
Roger Sherman Elementary SchoolSoftball FieldOpenSample Results
Stratfield Elementary SchoolPlayscapeOpenSample Results
Stratfield Elementary SchoolSpace FieldOpenSample Results
Fairfield Woods Middle SchoolSoccer FieldOpenSample Results (Town of Fairfield)
Fairfield Woods Middle SchoolBaseball OutfieldOpenSample Results (Town of Fairfield)
Roger Ludlowe Middle SchoolSoccer FieldOpenSample Results
Fairfield Ludlowe High SchoolFront FieldOpenSample Results
Fairfield Ludlowe High SchoolPractice FieldOpenSample Results
Fairfield Ludlowe High SchoolSoftball Field (Sturges)OpenSample Results
Fairfield Warde High SchoolFront FieldOpenSample Results
Fairfield Warde High SchoolPractice FieldOpenSample Results
Fairfield Warde High SchoolSoftball FieldOpenSample Results

 

 

Frequently asked questions

The Board of Education was made aware that there may be an issue with our fields on August 8, 2019.

The planters were installed and filled by a third party, with clean and tested fill. There were no local products used for this project.

For any given site, we expect to have results back within 48 hours. Once we complete our inventory of all sites to be tested, we expect that testing will be completed in less than a month.

Source - The above questions and responses were compiled by the Fairfield Health Department. For additional information regarding the use of fill from the Reclamation Yard aggregate pile, please visit www.fairfieldct.org/filluseissues.

All fields are closed until further notice. We will notify the public when we have clearance to re-open the fields.

Once we have the test results on any given site, and a decision is made to remediate, we will close access to the specific area to be remediated, develop a remediation action plan based on recommendations from Tighe & Bond, and then carry out the remediation. The area to be remediated will be restricted until the work is completed and the site inspected.

Source - The above questions and responses were compiled by the Fairfield Health Department. For additional information regarding the use of fill from the Reclamation Yard aggregate pile, please visit www.fairfieldct.org/filluseissues.

 

 

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Leachability Tests

As noted above the pesticide amounts found on some playgrounds do not pose a risk from contact. We did ask for further testing to ensure this information. Below are the results of SPLP leachability analytical results for pesticides and PAHs for samples that initially exceeded the pesticide (PMC) limits from Roger Ludlowe Middle School, Fairfield Ludlow High School, Fairfield Warde High School and Osborn Hill, Sherman, and North Stratfield Elementary schools. Based on the results of SPLP leachability tests, there were no exceedances of the PMC limits. The fields are safe to use.