FAIRFIELD — The town is one step closer to accepting an additional $300,000 for the wastewater treatment plant hardening project, which aims to make the site more resistant to coastal flooding.

The Board of Finance unanimously approved a resolution to accept a Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery at a recent meeting.

Town officials reached out to the state — which administers the grant for the federal government — to request more funding after contaminants were found at the plant during construction on the project, said Brian Carey, the acting director of the Public Works Department.

“The state was able to come up with additional funding for us in the amount of $300,000,” Carey said. “So, we’re just back in front of the Board of Selectmen and Board of Finance at this time to get the agreement signed so that we can acquire that (funding).”

In February, First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick said the project would cost a total of $7.4 million but $3.33 million would be funded through a grant from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.


Carey said workers noticed oily water coming in from one of the excavations about six weeks into the work, which started in March and April. The water was tested and showed petroleum and PCBs.

“We actually ended up having to do soil testing, and the extent of that has just grown over time as we’ve discovered that there’s PCBs pretty much throughout the northeast corner of the site and, then, sporadically through the rest of the site,” Carey said, who has previously stated the contaminants are unrelated to the fill pile scandal.

The town is working with its licensed environmental professional, Tighe and Bond, as well as with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency