New Hampshire’s program to clean up MTBE contamination is getting underway.
The Executive Council has approved funding for an Remediation Bureau, which will begin testing wells and water sources for MTBE contamination. The gasoline additive was intended to help the state address air pollution, but it was banned in 2007, years after the state began seeking damages from companies that produced and marketed gasoline with MTBE because of its effects on groundwater.
The Department of Environmental Services has lifted the fecal bacteria advisory on Weirs Beach in Laconia. But advisories remain in place for Bartlett Beach and Opechee Cove.
DES Beach Program Coordinator Sonya Carlson says contrary to earlier reports, there is no evidence right now that bacteria at the Weirs could be coming from so-called “sewage sludge.” Carlson points to water samples the EPA took there last year looking for traces of pharmaceuticals.
We sit down with New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services Commissioner Thomas Burack. The state’s environment has seen some hopeful trends recently, particularly when it comes to air quality. The story changes, however, when it comes to our lakes and coastal waters. We’ll get an update on what’s been working in addressing these issues, and what still needs to be done.
Tom Burack - New Hampshire Commissioner for Environmental Services