Press Release: Save the Sound applauds state legal action to enforce cleanup of English Station

Today, Connecticut Attorney General William Tong filed an enforcement action against United Illuminating over the company’s failure to complete state-ordered cleanup of the English Station power plant. The facility, located on an island in New Haven’s Mill River, has been shuttered for over three decades and is subject to a 2015 order from the Public Utility Regulatory Authority to remediate its soils for contamination including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and heavy metals. The cleanup was to have been completed in three years, but has seen little progress.

“United Illuminating is obligated to remediate English Station regardless of what it takes and regardless of the cost. That is the law, and that is not up for debate,” said Tong in his office’s press release. “We have tried for years to get United Illuminating to fulfill its obligations, and they have refused. We were left with no choice but to file today’s legal action, on behalf of our state and the people of New Haven who deserve to see this site cleaned and ready for productive, future use.”

Save the Sound senior legal director Roger Reynolds said, “We are pleased the Attorney General Tong and Commissioner Dykes are taking action to enforce the longstanding order that UI has flagrantly violated for a decade. We applaud the state for this action on the partial consent order that involves cleanup of the land, and urge officials to next require adequate cleanup of the polluted water as well. By requiring UI to fulfill its obligations to clean up both the land and the water, DEEP and the Attorney General can remedy this serious environmental injustice and return the resources to the community to which they belong.”

Save the Sound has been involved in advocating for full cleanup of the English Station site for many years. Two decades ago the organization won a case at the then-Department of Environmental Protection to prevent a plan to reopen a power plant at the site to burn dirty oil on the hottest days of the year, working with an epidemiologist to show how many more hospitalizations would occur in the low income neighborhood surrounding English Station.

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