[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Stratford 7-10-2017 by Ord. No. 17-09. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known and be cited as the "Groundwater and Vapor Intrusion Zones Ordinance" of the Town of Stratford, Connecticut.
The purpose of this chapter is to protect the health, safety, and general welfare of the residents of the Town of Stratford living within a po1tion of the USEPA Groundwater Study Area (Operable Unit 2) of the Raymark Industries, Inc., Superfund Site. This chapter identifies a "Groundwater Zone" where controls are needed to prevent human exposure to contaminated groundwater and to prevent changes in groundwater flow patterns that may result from the pumping or extraction of groundwater. This chapter also identifies a "Vapor Intrusion Zone," which is a sub-area within the Groundwater Zone, where controls are also needed to prevent human exposure to contaminated vapors that may move or migrate from contaminated groundwater into living or occupied areas of buildings or where an evaluation is needed to determine if controls are not necessary.
The primary intent of this chapter is to:
Prevent the use of and public exposure to contaminated groundwater in the Groundwater Zone and to prevent the further migration of contaminated groundwater;
Prevent soil gas potentially contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from migrating into homes and commercial buildings within the Vapor Intrusion Zone; and
Protect the integrity of the groundwater remedy for the Raymark Industries, Inc., Superfund Site, as established by the USEPA.
As authorized by Connecticut General Statutes § 7-148, once this chapter is applicable to property located within the boundaries of the Groundwater Zone, the use restrictions of § 113-6 shall apply; no groundwater shall be extracted, consumed, or utilized at any property within the Groundwater Zone; and for the properties also located within the boundaries of the Vapor Intrusion Zone, soil vapor mitigation systems shall be installed in all homes and commercial buildings, except as otherwise provided within this chapter.
This chapter shall apply to the Groundwater Zone and Vapor Intrusion zone notwithstanding the provisions of any other Town ordinance adopted. This chapter concerns contaminated groundwater and does not affect or supersede any restrictions applicable to any property that the EPA has determined to contain soil contaminated by waste originating from the former Raymark Industries, Inc., facility.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. The address to contact CTDEEP regarding matters related to this chapter is CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, WPLR/Remediation, 79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106. CTDEEP's phone number for such matters is 860-424-3705.
- All water found beneath the surface of the ground, including all subsurface water stored in bedrock and overburden aquifers and recharge areas within the Groundwater Zone. Groundwater does not include surface water bodies within the Groundwater Zone.
- GROUNDWATER ZONE
- The properties within the Town of Stratford as described in § 113-5 and as depicted in Exhibit A, as may be amended by the USEPA, with a reasonable opportunity to comment by the CTDEEP.
- SOIL VAPOR MITIGATION SYSTEM
- A passive or active system that prevents or inhibits the movement or migration of soil vapor (gas) into indoor living or occupied spaces. Such active systems are similar to typical residential radon reduction systems.
- The United States Environmental Protection Agency.
- VAPOR INTRUSION
- The movement or migration of vapor-forming chemicals from a subsurface source, such as groundwater or soil gas, into an overlying building or structure.
- VAPOR INTRUSION ZONE
- The properties within the Town of Stratford as described in § 113-5 and as depicted in Exhibit B, as may be amended by the USEPA, with a reasonable opportunity to comment by the CTDEEP.
- VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS (VOCS)
- Chemicals that contain carbon and easily become or turn into vapors or gasses. VOCs in the Groundwater Zone and Vapor Intrusion Zone include benzene; chlorobenzene; ethylbenzene; chloroform; trichloroethene (TCE); 1,1-dichloroethylene (1,1-DCE); 1,1-dichloroethane, and vinyl chloride.
[Amended 4-8-2019 by Ord. No. 19-04]
There is hereby established within the Town of Stratford a Groundwater Zone, as depicted in Exhibit A, and a sub-area of that Zone referred to as the "Vapor Intrusion Zone," as depicted in Exhibit B.
The Groundwater Zone is an area impacted by a plume of contaminated groundwater emanating from the former Raymark facility where controls are needed to prevent the use or consumption of groundwater and to prevent the further migration of groundwater or a change in groundwater hydrology (flows) due to the use, extraction, or pumping of groundwater.
The Vapor Intrusion Zone is a sub-area within the Groundwater Zone where controls are also needed (in addition to the groundwater controls) to mitigate the potential migration of contaminated vapors into indoor living or occupied spaces or where evaluation has been conducted or is needed to determine if such controls are not necessary.
The particular properties contained within each Zone are generally located in the area of Barnum Avenue Cutoff, Ferry Boulevard, and Housatonic Avenue as depicted in Exhibit A (Groundwater Zone) and Exhibit B (Vapor Intrusion Zone) and can be identified using Assessor's maps that are on file at the Town of Stratford office of the Assessor and can be viewed online at the Town of Stratford's website. The boundaries of each Zone have been set based on the available data and known facts in consultation with the USEPA and CTDEEP.
The Zones depicted in Exhibit A and Exhibit B are subject to future revision by the USEPA, with a reasonable opportunity to comment by the CTDEEP. Any revision to the Zones as shown on Exhibit A or B will be maintained in the files of the Town of Stratford Health Department, the office of the Town Clerk, and the office of the Assessor.
Within the Groundwater Zone, which encompasses and includes the Vapor Intrusion Zone, the following restrictions shall apply, except as specifically provided in § 113-7, Exceptions and permitted uses:
The extraction, consumption, or utilization of groundwater for any purpose, including, without limitation, irrigation and residential wells, is strictly prohibited. No well shall be dug, reactivated, used, or created in any way.
Any existing groundwater well must be abandoned in accordance with the provisions of the Connecticut Well Drilling Code and Rules, Sections 25-126 through 25-137 of the General Statutes and Regulations of the State of Connecticut, and all applicable regulations of the Town of Stratford Health Department. Such a well shall be legally abandoned in conformance with state and Town regulations within 90 days of the effective date of this chapter.
Within the Vapor Intrusion Zone, which is a sub-area located within the Groundwater Zone, the following restrictions shall apply in addition to the use restrictions in Subsections A and B above, except as specifically provided in § 113-7, Exceptions and permitted uses. The following restrictions do not apply outside of the Vapor Intrusion Zone:
Each building in residential use containing an indoor (interior) living space or containing an indoor living space connected to an enclosed nonliving space (such as an enclosed garage) shall have a functioning soil vapor mitigation system. Each building in commercial, industrial, and/or other nonresidential use shall have a functioning soil vapor mitigation system. A list of buildings that have soil vapor mitigation systems is on file at the Town of Stratford Health Department, and such properties are identified on property cards in the office of the Assessor.
For property in residential use, the installation of a soil vapor mitigation system shall be required for any building constructed or expanded after the effective date of this chapter containing an indoor (interior) living space or containing an indoor living space connected to an enclosed nonliving space (such as an enclosed garage).
For property in commercial, industrial, and/or other nonresidential use, the installation of a soil vapor mitigation system shall be required for any building constructed or expanded after the effective date of this chapter containing an indoor (interior) space.
Any person proposing development, demolition, excavation, grading, or construction activities and seeking a building permit shall submit his or her plans and receive written approval from the following Town of Stratford Departments: Health, Engineering, and Building.
The design and installation of all Soil Vapor Mitigation Systems shall be approved in advance, in writing, by the CTDEEP and the US EPA. A licensed contractor listed on the Connecticut Department of Public Health's List of Qualified Radon Mitigation Professionals shall be used to design and install an approved soil vapor mitigation system.
Except as approved pursuant to this subsection, no party shall modify, alter, or destroy any soil vapor mitigation system, interfere with the continued operation of the system, discontinue the use of any system, or compromise the integrity of any slab or basement foundation so as to create or potentially create a pathway for the migration of soil vapor into a building. The alteration or modification of any soil vapor mitigation system or the compromising of any slab or basement foundation shall be approved in advance, in writing, by the CTDEEP. If any party manipulates a soil vapor mitigation system so as to cause the decreased function of the system, if any party is responsible in any manner for a system's decreased function, or if any party compromises the integrity of a slab or basement foundation, the obligation and cost of repair shall be the responsibility of that party.
The CTDEEP shall be contacted as soon as possible, but in no event more than five days from the date of detection, regarding any soil vapor mitigation system where a party or entity has knowledge that such system is not functioning or is functioning on a decreased capacity. The CTDEEP's phone number contact is 860-424-3705.
Groundwater in the Groundwater Zone may be used for the purpose of evaluating and/or sampling groundwater quality for environmental investigation.
This chapter shall not apply to any environmental investigation or monitoring wells installed, or required to be installed, by any federal, state, or local government authority.
Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit any party from developing property within the Groundwater Zone, provided that any development proposal requiring the use of water shall demonstrate the ability to connect to public water at such party's expense.
Notwithstanding the restriction against the extraction, consumption, or utilization of groundwater contained in § 113-6A, any person that owns or controls a property within the Groundwater Zone may use and/or install a groundwater well, upon the advanced written approval of the Stratford Health Department, the CTDEEP, and the USEPA. Any party seeking such an exception shall provide any information requested by any of the approving agencies, including, without limitation, data showing that a proposed well will not result in potential human health risks, interfere with the remedy for the Raymark site, or adversely modify groundwater hydrology (flows).
Notwithstanding the requirement that buildings in the Vapor Intrusion Zone have soil vapor mitigation systems contained in § 113-6, the USEPA and CTDEEP may approve, in writing, an exception from that requirement, upon receipt of sufficient data showing that a soil vapor mitigation system is not needed to reduce actual or potential risks from vapor intrusion. The USEPA and CTDEEP shall approve in advance, in writing, any testing designed to determine if a soil vapor mitigation system is not necessary. The Town of Stratford Health Department shall maintain a list of properties where the USEPA has approved an exception from the requirement to install a soil vapor mitigation system. Such a list shall include properties where the USEPA has determined that a soil vapor mitigation system is not necessary prior to the effective date of this chapter. An exception to the requirement to install a soil vapor mitigation system based upon exposure assumptions consistent with the commercial or industrial use of a building may not continue to apply if the use of such building changes to residential use or a use with exposures similar to residential use.
The operation of any soil vapor mitigation system may be temporarily suspended for minor building repairs, minor building modifications, or minor building improvements for less than 30 days, provided that the operation of such system shall be restarted upon the completion of such work and in no event shall the suspension of the operation of such system continue beyond 30 days.
Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit the use of a closed-loop system for geothermal heating purposes, provided that penetrations of any foundation or slab are properly sealed and no component of the system creates a potential pathway for vapor intrusion. This exception only applies to closed-loop systems that do not pump or extract groundwater.
This chapter shall not apply to the management, treatment, and/or disposal of groundwater exposed during the open excavation of the ground surface. Such groundwater shall be managed, treated, and/or disposed of according to all applicable ordinances, rules, regulations, or laws.
The USEPA may review and revise the Groundwater Zone and the Vapor Intrusion Zone and reserves the right to expand or contract either zone. Any future revisions to Exhibit A and/or Exhibit B of this chapter, however, will be maintained in the files of the Town of Stratford Health Department, the office of the Assessor, and the office of the Town Clerk.
For every property located within the Vapor Intrusion Zone, a notation shall be included on the Assessor's property card indicating that the property is located within the Vapor Intrusion Zone, that the prope1ty is subject to this chapter, whether there is a Soil Vapor Mitigation System currently installed at the respective property, or if a Soil Vapor Mitigation System has been determined to not be required.
The USEPA, CTDEEP, and the Town of Stratford, acting through its Health Department, have the right to monitor the Groundwater Zone and the Vapor Intrusion Zone, as needed. If the USEPA, CTDEEP, or the Town of Stratford has reason to believe that a soil vapor mitigation system is not functioning or is functioning at a decreased capacity, it may inspect the system and require compliance with this chapter.
The Town of Stratford shall give immediate written notice to the CTDEEP and to the USEPA upon the repeal or modification of this chapter or any judicial decision that repeals or modifies this chapter.
The Town of Stratford may institute or cause to be instituted, in the name of the Town, any and all actions, legal and equitable, that shall be appropriate or necessary for the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter.
Any person or entity, being the owner or occupant of or having control or the use of land or property within the Groundwater Zone, who is found to violate any provision of this chapter may be fined in the amount not to exceed $250 per day at the discretion of the Health Director, in accordance with the Town of Stratford's Citation Ordinance (that is, Town Code Chapter 6) adopted in accordance with Connecticut General Statutes § 7-l 52c. Each day such violation is permitted to exist shall constitute a separate offense.