Coakley Landfill: Yet Another Source Of Water Contamination In New Hampshire

Jun 30, 2016

Credit Epa.gov

The Coakley Landfill, a federal Superfund site located in North Hampton and Greenland, N.H., is the fifth source of perfluorinated chemicals identified in New Hampshire. 

A group responsible for the Superfund site tested the landfill's monitoring wells for perfluorichemicals after similar water contamination came to light at the former Pease Air Force Base and industrial sites in Southern NH. It is the second landfill to test high for PFOA and related chemicals in the state; the Merrimack landfill also tested above state standards.

According to the state’s department of environmental services, all eight monitoring wells tested above the state’s regulatory standard for PFOA and PFOS. One well tested 16 times higher than the state standard. These wells are not used for drinking water.

Questions about the landfill arose in March when the state announced an inquiry into a pediatric cancer cluster in Rye, N.H. 

A task force was appointed earlier this month to oversee investigations at both the Coakley Landfill and the Seabrook Station Nuclear power plant to determine if environmental contaminants there can be linked to the cluster of rare cancers. 

Next, a group responsible for the Superfund site and the state’s department of environmental services will expand water testing to monitoring wells and private drinking wells surrounding the landfill.