HOUSE DEMOCRATIC LEADER URGES DES TO COMPLY WITH THE LAW TO CLEANUP PFAS ON NEW HAMPSHIRE SEACOAST


CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE – On Tuesday, April 26th Chair of the Greenland Board of Selectman Steven Smith sent a letter to the Department of Environmental Services Commissioner Robert Scott (attached) following an April 14th meeting with Coakley Landfill Group . The letter urged DES to continue to monitor the PFAS contamination on the New Hampshire Seacoast as a result of Coakley Landfill Group’s unsuccessful remediation attempt. Simultaneously, Democratic Leader Rep. Renny Cushing sent additional correspondence (attached) to the Commissioner in the his role as the sponsor of the 2019 legislation HB 494, which directed DES to work with the Coakley Landfill Group to pursue a remedy to ensure the substantial reduction of PFAS contaminants entering Berry’s Brook from the Coakley Landfill site. Following the correspondence, Rep. Renny Cushing (D-Hampton) released the following statement:

The response from the Coakley Landfill Group on their unsuccessful remediation effort, installing “sandbags” as a barrier in the water to remove PFAS contaminants from Berry’s Brook, was dismissive of the thousands of Seacoast families impacted by the pollution and of their legal obligation to act. HB 494, signed into law in 2019, requires that the Department of Environmental Services work with the Coakley Landfill Group to substantially reduce the PFAS contaminants affecting our state’s waterways and drinking water.


I was personally horrified to hear the Portsmouth City Attorney’s comments which weaponized and manipulated the law the legislature passed to clean up Berry’s Brook against families suffering from the effects of PFAS contamination. To say that the law only required Coakley Landfill to try one remedy for cleanup, and to further assert they have no obligation or intent to try another remedy after their chosen method proved ineffective, is a concerning dereliction of legal compliance. It is also a heartless public comment to those who have developed cancer and other serious illness as a result of Coakley Landfill’s pollution. I urge the Department of Environmental Services to continue to act as the law has directed and pursue remediation options to rid the New Hampshire seacoast of PFAS contaminants.”

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