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Greenwich Daily Voice serves Greenwich, CT

Greenwich High Opens Two Athletic Fields

GREENWICH, Conn. – Artificial turf fields 6 and 7 at Greenwich High School opened last weekend after contaminated soil was remediated.

Since Cardinal Stadium reopened in mid-September, fields 6 and 7 are the only other athletic fields cleared for use by the state.

When excavation work was being done in parking lots in summer for the school's auditorium project, workers discovered soil that was darker than dirt found in July during work on the school's West Lot. That prompted immediate environmental tests. All work was stopped, and the area covered and closed off.

Testing in surrounding areas revealed low levels of lead, arsenic, barium, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and petroleum hydrocarbons. The athletic fields were closed, forcing high school athletic teams to practice on middle school and elementary school fields.

The town Department of Public Works is overseeing soil remediation and long-term environmental studies for the project, according to the school district. For now, the work focuses on removing soil, fencing off areas of contamination and opening more of the fields. Here is the status of remaining fields:

• 6 and 7: Interim remediation has been completed, including the removal of shallow soil, its disposal and restoration of the area with clean topsoil and grass. Small areas around field 7 are fenced off to protect the topsoil and seed that has been placed.

• 3 and 4: Their opening was expected earlier this month but was delayed awaiting state approval of remediation plans. Work has now started. Once it is completed, the fields will be opened, including bleacher access.

• 2: The district plans to remove soil from a small area of this grass field to allow fall maintenance to be completed. Remediation is nearing completion and will allow for maintenance work to be completed soon. The district has not indicated how the latest snowstorm will affect these efforts.

• 5: The district is submitting a request to the state to open this grass field, where no PCBs were found.

An environmental study of the soil beneath the auditorium site began in early October. Soil samples were collected and are being analyzed. Study findings will begin to be available this week.

Click here to watch complete footage of the school's public environmental forum in September.

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