|UCONN and property contamination?|
by Duane Craing
The University of Connecticut finds itself in the middle of a rather strange property contamination case.
It seems the university sold about 50 acres of land and buildings to the city of Stamford to be used as a middle school. But as it was leaving in 1998 it might not have followed the right protocols in declaring environmental contamination.
Now, Connecticut’s Department of Environmental Protection,(DEP), is crying foul because it found documents disclosing the university generated a reportable amount of hazardous waste and didn’t report it.
The university says the waste was under the limit that is reportable. The type of hazardous waste involved is chemicals used for experiments. But there’s a sticking point over the quantity. Apparently if an entity generates more than 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of hazardous waste in a month, then it is reportable. The university says it never generated that much in any month and the quantities the DEP is looking at are quantities shipped, and not quantities generated.
If the university looses this argument it may have to pay for an expensive environmental investigation. One investigator says it could cost $20,000 for the investigation and if the DEP imposed a fine then that would add significantly to the cost.
The whole thing gets murkier though because the university now says it never technically owned the property.
Follow the tale here.