The following is my testimony before the NH House Environment and Agriculture Committee demanding cleaning up the Coakley Landfill
With the issue of PFOA and PFOS contamination spreading throughout New Hampshire and United States, our town of Greenland is really feeling the fear of the harm these emerging contaminants are creating because we sit right next to what is now an infamous EPA Superfund site that people doubt was ever properly contained.
Our frustration is that while only part of the Coakley sits in Greenland, we were not a contributor to the contaminants that were deposited there and we are not a member of the Coakley Landfill Group, which as you know is the managing body of the site. You can imagine not only the concern about a spreading plume of groundwater with who knows what it contains that is moving in Greenland’s direction, but also that we have little to no say in the mitigation and remediation of the problem that is creating health worries among our some 270 private property owners and families who live near the site.
Greenland’s Board of Selectmen is working with the Portsmouth officials to work on a plan to bring public water to the residents along Breakfast Hill Road that can connect a Greenland well to the Portsmouth water supply, so we have started to do our part in protecting our residents. An eventual pipeline could be years away.
However, the nature of the pollutants in the Coakley and their consequences are concern enough to take action now to mitigate the hazards the Coakley landfill may be causing.
In addition, it’s felt among town officials that the Coakley is having an effect beyond the risks posed to residents with private wells.
The Greenland Planning Board has no new projects for 6 months, and anecdotally we’ve heard that area real estate companies are having a very hard time with potential buyers who will not consider moving to Greenland. To quote one town official, “we are feeling a negative impact.”
Please seriously consider this bill and understand that these issues affect not only Greenland and the Seacoast, but the entire state of New Hampshire.