The City of Hartford has asked the Connecticut Resources Recovery
Authority (CRRA) to fund an independent environmental study of
possible air pollution caused by the Authority's Landfill in
the North Meadows and the Trash-to-Energy Plant in the South
Several community groups have raised concerns about health problems
allegedly caused by fumes and other emissions from the two facilities.
In a letter presented to CRRA President Robert Wright on Friday,
Mayor Mike Peters and Hartford City Council called on CRRA to
become a partner with the Hartford Health Department in an air-toxic
study being conducted by the State Environmental Protection Agency
and the University of Connecticut. The study would have "special
attention focused on the complaints being raised by the community
groups." According to the letter, these concerns range from
"potentially contaminated drinking water in and around the
North Meadows Landfill to possible asthma-causing air-emissions
from the trash-to-energy plant." The letter goes on to ask
CRRA to "step up to the plate and fund this study."
CRRA President Robert Wright said he would advocate funding the
new study before his board of directors and added "We're
confident with a new study, as long as it's reasonable and objective."
Wright reiterated his belief that CRRA's Hartford facilities
pose no health risk to city residents and called the trash-to-energy
Plant in the South Meadows "one of the cleanest in the state."
He added that CRRA has just installed an anti-odor device, valued
at approximately $1 million, at the South Meadows facility in
response to complaints from Hartford and East Hartford residents.
The request for an independent study was made at a press conference
called to announce CRRA's awarding of $717,438 from its annual
operating surplus to the City of Hartford. Overall, CRRA awarded
$3 million to its 60 member towns.
Peters called CRRA's distribution of the money "turning
cash into gold" and praised the organization for "deciding
to use this money to help our communities instead of putting
it back into their own coffers."
The City has already come up with a list of 13 projects to receive
the CRRA funds. They are:
Sidewalks for the north side of Airport Road ($200,000)
Mi Casa Project for Youth ($109,000)
Blue Hills Civic Association Community programs ($70,000)
Riverfront Recapture Development ($60,000)
Farmington Avenue Corridor Study ($50,000)
Naylor School Computer Lab ($50,000)
Annie Fisher School Playscape ($40,000)
Knox Foundation Greenhouse on Laurel Street ($35,000)
Center for Urban Research and Development ($18,000)
Youth Artists Program ($15,000)
Keney Park Pond House for Seniors ($10,000)
Dr. John E. Rogers Library ($10,000)
Wright called the scope of the projects Hartford is proposing
"breath-taking" and added "Hartford does a better
job than any other town in the way it allocates the [CRRA] money."