To the Editor:

We live at 71 Peter Rd. in Southbury, which is across the street from the Rochambeau Middle School and the Public Works garage. The Manville administration proposes to install 20,000-gallon, above-ground fuel tanks (including 10,000 gallons of gasoline) on the property adjacent to our residence.

This is more fuel than what took down the World Trade Center on September 11.

These tanks will be located within 500 feet of the Rochambeau Middle School property, within 400 feet of one of the town’s largest shopping centers, within 150 feet of a popular restaurant, within 300 feet of the town’s emergency radio tower, within 400 feet of the town’s emergency generator and within 200 feet of a private residence (ours).

The property where the Manville administration wants to install the tanks borders a church where a daycare is operated and also borders I-84. The property currently has a police firearms range (used by Southbury, Bethel and Bridgeport Police Departments), the local fire department conducts training exercises involving burning motor vehicles, large trucks and pay loaders move massive concrete construction material and rock crushing operations are conducted using mining equipment.

The insurance institute did a study of 242 explosions/fires in above-ground fuel tanks and found human error and lightning strikes as the main cause of accidents. What if an explosion occurred while Peter Road was lined with school buses going to the middle school?

The town owns a large amount of property where the tanks could be installed and not be next to vulnerable properties. Selectman Jennifer Naylor recently stated that we were horrified at the thought of installing these tanks on the Peter Road property, yes, but the whole town should be horrified.

This is a misguided and dangerous idea.


David and Patricia Shortt


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