I want to commend the Greenland Selectmen for devoting a major portion of their August 8, meeting to hearing the concerns of residents who live close to the Coakley landfill. It has now been reported that elevated concentrations of perfluorochemicals have been found in non-residential groundwater monitoring well samples collected beyond the footprint of Coakley landfill. The next step will be to determine if water is affected as it moves outside of the landfill’s footprint, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. It’s also reported that the 16 residential wells evaluated in Greenland and North Hampton met the state’s groundwater standards.
The Selectmen expressed their concern and stated that they will do everything they can to insure that our residents are safe and that this water situation will be given their full attention. A Sunday August 14, editorial by the Portsmouth Herald said “immediate action is needed and local, state and federal governments must do their job promptly.” The Herald said the solution is to extend public water to all residences with wells in which testing revealed the presence of PFCs.
Officials with both the state of New Hampshire and State Representative Tom Sherman, who heads the Governor’s Cancer Cluster Task Force said that everything about PFCs are new to us, and that testing is fussy. There are only a small number of labs who are fully capable of accurately measuring this contaminant and they are getting “slammed” with these requests. There is about a 6 week delay between submitting sample and receiving results. These contaminants have only recently been regulated so the testing processes are new and the EPA is asking labs to develop reliable and standard testing procedures.
I’m encouraged by our local official’s attention to this and their clear interest in protecting our residents. Testing is on-going and results are coming in. Federal, state and local officials are on top of this and I’m confident that plans for pure water will be developed and implemented.
As your state representative for Greenland and Newington, I will work hard on your behalf to help insure this matter is given top priority and that remedial actions will be taken.