Saturday, July 2, 2011

Dover Superfund Site Close to Groundwater Remediation

May 27, 2008 by admin  
Filed under Energy & Environment

A landfill in Dover that was open between 1961 and 1979 has come up in the news again. The 50-care Dover Municipal Landfill on Tolend Road is one of eighteen Superfund sites in New Hampshire. Today the site received a new Consent Decree that “clears the way for continued clean up work and better environmental protection, including groundwater remediation,” according to the EPA.

The decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and if it is entered, it will “ensure the completion of the ground water and source control remedies, EPA’s reimbursement for oversight, and continued monitoring to ensure the protection of public health and the environment,” according to an EPA statement. During its years of operation, the landfill accepted household waste as well as industrial waste that included solvents and tanning solutions from local industries. Some of the wastes were chlorinated solvents as well as sludge from the Dover wastewater plant.

Monitoring wells were installed around the site in 1977 and harmful organic solvents were found to be entering the ground water around the facility. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and arsenic have been found in the groundwater. Back in 1981, a waterline was installed to nearby homes so that they would not have to rely on their contaminated wells. There are about 50 homes within a 1 mile radius of the landfill, a nursing home within half a mile, and the prison is close to the landfill as well.

Today, the Cocheco River – 400 feet from the site – has sediment that is contaminated with arsenic, according to the EPA. VOCs have also been found in the surface water by the government agency.

Concern is rising that the contaminated groundwater might seep into the Calderwood municipal well that supplies 20 percent of Dover’s water and is located only a half mile away from the site. Even closer is the Bellamy Reservoir, located a third of a mile from the landfill. That reservoir provides water for Portsmouth, Newington, New Castle, Greenland, and parts of Greenland, Rye, Madbury, and Durham. The contamination of these major water sources for the seacoast area would be catastrophic.

Complete information as well as the decree may be found at this site, http://www.usdoj.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees/City_of_Dover/City_of_Dover.ht… .

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