TOLLAND/HARTFORD COUNTIES, CT – U.S. Representatives Joe Courtney (CT-02) and John Larson (CT-01) announced Thursday that more than $662,000 in federal funding has been secured through the omnibus spending program of the Room for the 2021 fiscal year for research into Connecticut’s Crumbling Foundations Crisis was awarded to the University of Connecticut.
In 2020, Courtney, Larson, and the Connecticut delegation worked to secure $2 million in funding for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, or NIST, to continue research into the effects of the mineral pyrrhotite on rock aggregate. concrete. On Thursday, Courtney announced that NIST has officially awarded UConn $662,400 of this funding for fiscal year 2021 to support continued research into the premature degradation of concrete foundations containing pyrrhotite and to continue modeling the risk. failure of concrete foundations containing aggregates with reactive sulphides.
The NIST award of $662.40 is in addition to the $768,000 UConn received in 2021.
“The NIST award is an important milestone for the grassroots efforts of our coalition, legislators, city leaders and our federal partners,” said Debbie MacCoy, condominium owner in Eastern Connecticut and advocate for foundations in ruined. “This funding marks the seriousness given to research into harmful minerals in aggregates used for concrete work in home foundations, bridges, public buildings and commercial buildings. It shows that not only Connecticut and Massachusetts are facing crumbling foundations, but that other states are also grappling with harmful minerals, and that the federal government is hearing the growing concerns around this crisis.
“The research conducted at UConn is extremely important, because there is no research like this in the country that will at some point quantitatively establish a risk assessment scale for understanding how much pyrrhotite in concrete is damaging,” MacCoy continued. “Today, test results may show a percentage of pyrrhotite in concrete walls, but what does that mean in terms of damage from that percentage to foundations? The test method used by UConn is also new and less expensive, less intrusive and a faster method to find the answers concerning the presence of pyrrhotite in the foundations of a house.
Courtney, who lives in Vernon and has seen neighbors affected, took a keen interest in anything to do with the crumbling foundation crisis.
“The House is responsible for developing the federal government’s budget, and the crumbling foundation research and testing taking place at the University of Connecticut is funded directly by the provisions Rep. Larson and I included in the package. of House omnibus spending for fiscal year 2021,” he said. “It’s great that this research is being conducted right here in eastern Connecticut by the experts at UConn, but what’s even better is that it already has results. I was with researchers from UConn last spring at Willington Ridge Condos, the first condominium complex in our state to be lifted for a foundation replacement after testing positive for pyrrhotite, and the relief for these families was overwhelming.
“The work being done at UCONN on the crumbling foundations gives us a better understanding of the problem and helps us chart the way forward for the families affected. It’s great to see this support coming home, and we will continue to move forward to find out more.”
The NIST award highlights how the crisis is an “everyone on deck” situation. said Larson.
He added, “With federal resources, local leadership – and expertise from UConn – this effort will allow us to better understand how pyrrhotite actually affects building foundations. I will continue to work with Rep. Courtney to explore all possible avenues to provide relief to homeowners in Eastern and Central Connecticut.”
Representatives Courtney and Larson have worked together to secure federal funds for research into the crumbling foundation crisis in eastern and north-central Connecticut for years. In 2019, they led the Connecticut delegation to secure the first-ever funding for pyrrhotite research at NIST – $1.5 million to study the crumbling foundations. This 2019 legislation resulted in the first Federal Research Fellowship of $768,000 at UCONN in August 2020who supported the search and testing of their crumbling foundations.
Courtney said foundation testing at UConn has already yielded positive results for local home and condo owners. In March 2021, Representative Courtney joined MacCoy, representatives from the Connecticut Foundation Solutions Indemnity Company (CFSIC), engineers and researchers from UCONN, and others at the Willington Ridge site.
Courtney said he was working to get even more direct support “to help homeowners and co-owners affected by the collapse of foundations under the 2022 fiscal year appropriations program, which is expected to be will be considered soon”.