SEACOAST CANCER CLUSTER

EPA Not Backing Remediation of Coakley Landfill

On October 4, 2017 the work of the Governor’s Task Force on the Seacoast Cancer Cluster officially came to an end, but not before the EPA left the room in stunned silence by announcing there is no current unacceptable human health risk at the Coakley landfill located in North Hampton and Greenland. The shocked Task Force members couldn’t believe what they were hearing when measured PFC’s in surface water running off the Coakley landfill are among the highest in the world.

Dr. Tom Sherman the chair of the task force said he believed “there was some consensus between DES and EPA that at least the surface water running off the Coakley landfill did present a problem," and “the goal was to move toward remediation.” The EPA’s announcement silenced the room and changed the entire dynamic of the conversation.

Dr. Sherman said that, “we have a situation where we have the Coakley landfill with known toxic substances sitting at the highest point of the Seacoast with radial flow toward at least most of the municipal water systems and several private water systems and the EPA right now is not planning to anything about it?”

The EPA said it will tell the Coakley Landfill Group at its October 23 meeting to “conduct the bedrock investigation,” which will take up to two years. Greenland resident and water activist Jillian Lane said “it’s hard to imagine how the EPA would come to its conclusions,” when “Coakley has already contaminated residential drinking water wells on our road.”

I’ve included a Portsmouth Herald article below about the events of October 4 and the shocker that occurred at the final meeting of the Task Force.

I will be calling on the Commission to address this serious contamination problem immediately.

I was proud to serve on the Governor’s Task Force on the Seacoast Cancer Cluster. Its work has concluded and will now be taken up by The Governor’s Commission on the Seacoast Cancer Cluster. What started as an examination of cancer triggers, soon included an in-depth look at the many waste products that are contained in the landfills and EPA Superfund sites throughout the Seacoast.