Manresa Association FAQ’s
Who is the membership of the MA?
When did the MA begin and how often does it meet?
The MA’s first meeting was October 10, 2013. The MA meets every two or three months.
What is the MA working on?
The MA is focused on two areas: working with CT DEEP and the EPA to understand the contamination and remediation issues on the Manresa property, and working with the City of Norwalk in a public/private partnership on an Economic Impact Analysis of the 125 acre Manresa property.
• Secured agreement with the City of Norwalk for a public/private partnership to fund and conduct the Economic Impact Analysis of the Manresa property.
• Working with CT DEEP, deepened our understanding of Manresa remediation.
• Working with the CT Department of Aquaculture, made progress on identifying potential post-Sandy the LIS sediments contamination.
• Investigated NRG’s financial statements and found no accrual for the cost of remediating the Manresa property.
• Secured the Connecticut Fund for the Environment as a supporter and coalition partner in the effort to protect the critical open space and habitats of Manresa Island. CFE is the regional leader in using law, science and education to defend and improve the land, air, water and climate of CT and Long Island Sound.
Priorities for 2016/2017
• Partner with the City of Norwalk on the Economic Impact Analysis to:
- Conduct the Request For Proposal process to select the contractor
- Raise the Manresa Association’s 50% of the cost of the Economic Impact Analysis
- Conduct the Economic Impact Analysis
- Target to have the Economic Impact Analysis results available by the next annual meeting
• Continue to work with CT DEEP and the CT Aquaculture Department to advance our understanding of contamination and remediation issues.
• Attempt a constructive dialogue with NRG.
• Engage the Norwalk Business Community in the Manresa project.
How does an organization or neighborhood join the MA?
Any neighborhood association or organziation is welcome to join the MA. The association’s board must review the MA objectives and formally vote to join the MA.
What is the MA’s relationship with the City of Norwalk?
The Manresa Association has briefed the following Norwalk officials:
- The Mayor’s Energy & Environment Task Force
- Norwalk’s Shellfish Commission
- Mayor Rilling and staff members from Planning & Zoning, Conservation Commission and Economic Development
- Tim Sheehan of the Redevelopment Agency
- Jim Clark of Board of Estimate & Taxation
- Tom Hamilton, Finance Director
- Common Council members Messrs. Kimmel, Igneri, McCarthy, Simms and Kydes.
Has Connecticut’s DEEP (Department of Energy and Environmental Protection) offered any recent insight on conditions on the Manresa property?
Questions Arising from June, 2015 Manresa Association Annual Meeting
& Answers From DEEP’s Amanda Killeen and Peter Hill
- Long Island Sound sediments: Does the Wave Analysis Study satisfy the DEEP that there is not a potential problem with contaminants washing into Long Island sediments when over-washed by a Sandy-like storm? Will the DEEP require post-Sandy testing of the Long Island Sound sediments off of Manresa?
- The Wave Analysis Study was in response to the DEEP’s comment that the proposed Engineered Control for AOC 4 may not be sufficiently protective in the event of a major storm. The final proposed design for the Engineered Control will be submitted once site development plans are better understood. The Department’s requirements for testing of sediments will be evaluated at that time as well.
- Wetlands RAP: Have the DEEP and NRG reached agreement on the RAP for the freshwater and saltwater wetlands on Manresa? What is the estimated timeline for this RAP to be completed?
- We met with NRG and their consultant last week regarding the RAP. We discussed what the appropriate depth of sediment removal should be to ensure the establishment of a healthy ecosystem and prevent the recontamination of the sediment due to groundwater recharging the wetlands. We expect to have follow up discussions with NRG in the near future. It is unlikely the wetlands will be remediated this year.
- Water quality testing: What is the framework for the long-term water quality testing on Manresa, for both the uplands (groundwater) and the wetlands (surface water)? We are interested to understand how long water quality testing will be required for the uplands and wetlands.
- They currently conduct annual groundwater monitoring in accordance with the approved RCRA groundwater monitoring program (DEEP, 2008) as well as groundwater/surface water monitoring per the Transfer Act Program. Long-term groundwater monitoring will continue to be required under multiple frameworks – depending on what the final remediation measures will be at the site.
- Soil testing: Based on the Ecological Risk Assessment and other testing, is the DEEP satisfied that it understands the risk to animals posed by the contaminated soil on Manresa? With animals digging in the soil, and trees overturning, has the upland soil been tested at appropriate depths? Is further testing required? Will other lines of evidence need to be explored such as Is ex situ chronic toxicity testing for both soil and sediment exposures? If so, can you share the methods proposed or in progress?
- The Ecological Risk Assessment has not been fully evaluated at this time. Further testing will be considered along with future proposals for remediation.
- Where is NRG “on the timeline” regarding the State Property Transfer Act? At MA’s annual meeting, you mentioned something about NRG’s timeline to understand and remediate the Manresa site. Is there an end date, or a deadline, by which time NRG must have the remediation of the site completed? Can you please help us understand this timeline issue as it relates to the Manresa site and NRG’s acquisition of the site in 1999? We understand that the site cleanup criteria will be driven by human health-based Connecticut Remediation Standard Regulations and that these regulations vary between residential reuse and commercial/ industrial reuse and that the reuse of the site has not been determined, therefore clean-up toward full site closure has not commenced. However, we are concerned that in the meantime, the site’s biota may continue to be exposed to unacceptable concentrations of contaminants in the Site’s media.
- Any site that entered the program prior to October 1, 2009 does not have a deadline for completing remediation under the property transfer law. Any site that filed after October 1, 2009 has eight years to complete investigation and remediation. DEEP is not aware of any short term or acute potential risks to biota that need to be addressed now. The remediation of the property will address longer term or chronic potential risks to biota. DEEP will continue to give this project a high priority to ensure protection health and the environment.
Have any recognized environmental organizations offered their support to the MA?
Connecticut Audubon Society June, 2014:
“The Connecticut Audubon Society supports the development of a wise, balanced, and ecologically sensitive plan for the future of the Norwalk Power site. We will support a plan that would further the goals of the LISS, provide public access to Long Island Sound, be economically self-sustainable, and especially protect those elements of the landscape that are critical to maintaining the region’s biodiversity as well as its aesthetic and other beneficial values.”
Mayor’s Energy and Environment Task Force August, 2014:
“The Mayor’s Energy & Environment Task Force supports the Manresa Association’s objectives to pursue a balanced and ecologically sensitive plan for the remediation and future development of the Manresa power plant site in a way that benefits the Norwalk community.”
The Trust for Public Land October, 2014:
“The Manresa site offers a once in a lifetime chance to protect an important area of coastal habitat, enhance climate resiliency, and possibly create areas for public access to the shoreline. We strongly support the conservation of this site for the benefit of future generations.”
Norwalk Land Trust October, 2014:
“The Norwalk Land Trust supports the efforts of the Manresa Association to see that the highest standards of environmental responsibility and best conservation practices are applied to the power plant’s disposition and that of its site.”
Connecticut Fund for the Environment and Save the Sound October, 2014:
“Connecticut Fund for the Environment and its bi-state program Save the Sound strongly support the ongoing efforts to remediate, restore and protect the 125 acres of Manresa Island. The site provides the region with an enormous opportunity to enhance Long Island Sound’s tapestry of shoreline habitats, to provide for coastal resiliency, and to offer much needed public access to an increasingly limited coastline. We support a plan that ensures the property is safe for people and wildlife alike and preserves the site’s open spaces. CFE/Save the Sound looks forward to supporting federal, state, and local agencies, NGO’s and the Manresa Association as they work to create a plan for Manresa Island that contributes to a healthy Long Island Sound for current and future generations.”
NGO Sustainability October, 2014:
“NGO Sustainability would like to be among those organizations supporting the effort of the Manresa Association to remove the toxic waste, smoke stack and coal/oil plant in favor of a wildlife/ people friendly preserve, with the possibility of a renewable energy facility included.”
The Nature Conservancy October, 2014:
“The Nature Conservancy is in favor of the Manresa Island Association’s environmental remediation, restoration and conservation objectives for Manresa Island and the important role this coastal site could contribute towards the shared regional conservation, stewardship and coastal resilience objectives for Long Island Sound.”
SoundWaters October, 2015:
“SoundWaters enthusiastically supports the work of the Manresa Association to promote wise use and good stewardship of the Manresa site so future generations can explore and learn at this unique place. Having studied the Manresa site over the years, we know it to be a crucial habitat for key species, including the Diamondback Terrapin which nests on the site each year. The Manresa site is unique—125 acres right on Long Island Sound. The Manresa Association is bringing together all neighborhood stakeholders to transform this once industrial site to add critical open space right on Long Island Sound: a jewel for us all.”
Whom do I contact regarding the MA?
Charlie Taney, President of the Manresa Association