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State Senator

Saud Anwar

Representing East Hartford, Ellington, East Windsor and South Windsor

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Senator Anwar, Quarries Working Group Release Final Report

Today, the Quarries Working Group, of which State Senator Saud Anwar (D-South Windsor) was a member, released its final report after studying issues surrounding the ongoing crisis of crumbling foundations in dozens of Connecticut towns. The working group, which operated from September 2019 to January 2020 as a result of legislation passed during the 2019 legislative session, was tasked with developing a quality control plan for quarries and studying the workforce of contractors repairing and replacing concrete foundations. A suspected cause of the concrete failures is the presence of "pyrrhotite," an iron sulfide mineral, found in many homes' concrete foundations.

"This report helps give guidelines and direction to the numerous individuals working to assist those impacted by concrete foundations," said Sen. Anwar. "It is the culmination of months of hard work from a variety of individuals and works to create new standards for quality control testing. It also determines that the current workforce of contractors assisting with repairs is adequate for current demand, as well as a potential future increase in demand. I would like to thank my colleagues for their hard work and tireless efforts to complete this report and assist those struggling with this issue."

The Model Quality Control Plan included two major components. It first recommended a quarry operators producing aggregates for use on concrete provide Geological Source Reports to the Connecticut State Geologist. This report, prepared by a certified geologist, would include an operations plan to document the mining, processing, storage and quality control methods used by a producer of materials. The Operations Plan must be updated annually, while the GSR would need updating every four years.

The Model Quality Control Plan would also require aggregate testing to be performed to measure sulfur content in a quarry and determine the existence of pyrrhotite. The sulfur test would monitor materials and determine the material's sulfurous percent-by-mass. If the amount would be under 0.1 percent, the aggregate would be approved for use for four years; if greater than 1 percent, the aggregate would not be permitted for concrete use; if less than 1 percent but greater than 0.1 percent, further testing would be required.

That further testing, if necessary, would scan for the existence of pyrrhotite in the material. Its potential presence would determine whether it would be viable for use; if present, the sulfur content in the material would need to be under 0.1 percent to be viable.

Additionally, the study found that the current workforce of contractors assisting with foundation replacements is adequate, there is no shortage of labor and a potential increase in demand would still be achieved by the current workforce. It did find that affected homeowners should be educated in how to obtain state funds, choose a contractor and what to expect during the remediation process. Inspection options should also be enhanced to mitigate any delays, especially in municipalities with part-time inspectors, it found.

Quarries Working Group members included Chairman Kenneth Boynton, the president of Boynton Construction, Inc.; Sen. Anwar; State Representative Tim Ackert (R-Coventry); James Mahoney, Connecticut Transportation Institute Program Director; Henry Suzio, principal of L. Suzio York Hill Companies, Inc.; William Stanley, O&G Industries, Inc. Materials Division VP; Lyle Wray, director of the Capitol Region Council of Governments; and homeowner Debra MacCoy

 

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