Bill to Force Cleanup of Coakley Landfill Hits Stumbling Block in House Committee

Feb 27, 2018

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A bill that would force the cleanup of a hazardous landfill on the Seacoast hit a stumbling block in a House committee Tuesday.

The bill would require the groups that dumped hazardous waste at the Coakley Landfill in Greenland in the 70s and 80s to start cleaning it up.

The groups responsible include Seacoast municipalities, the former Pease Air Force Base, and many private businesses.

The landfill has been overseen by the EPA for decades, but some local residents are concerned that newly discovered contaminants are migrating offsite.

Democratic Rep. Renny Cushing is one of the bill’s sponsors.

“We’ve had a lot of talk about this and it’s time to stop talking and to start cleaning up that landfill.”

But others in the House Environment and Agriculture Committee argued that the bill would violate an existing agreement between the responsible parties and the EPA.

The committee voted 9-7 to refer the bill for interim study. The full House will vote on whether to accept that recommendation later this session.