EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 18, 2014

EPA reviews New Hampshire Superfund sites

Chemicals had been dumped at 2 locations in Southern NH

By Doug Ireland

---- — It’s been several decades since two Southern New Hampshire waste sites were shut down and massive Superfund cleanups launched.

While the cleanups at Tinkham Garage in Londonderry and Ottati & Goss in Kingston are essentially complete, the sites continue to be closely monitored.

The U.S Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday the two sites are among 27 in New England to undergo major reviews this year, according to EPA spokeswoman Emily Zimmerman. The sites up for review include six in New Hampshire and 10 in Massachusetts.

There are 118 Superfund sites throughout New England — 21 in the Granite State and 35 in the Bay State, she said.

Both Southern New Hampshire sites serving as dumping grounds for contaminants.

Several companies reconditioned steel drums at the 35-acre site off Route 125 in Kingston from the late 1950s through 1979. The work included rinsing barrels, causing the pollution of nearby South Brook and Country Pond, according to the EPA.

In Londonderry, oil and other waste — including washings from septic tank trucks — were disposed of at the 375-acre site in the late 1970s. The site is off Route 102.

Residents complained of a strong odor in a nearby brook, leading to an investigation. Wells at the Londonderry Green apartment complex and in the surrounding area were shut down in 1983 because of contamination, the EPA said.

The reviews are conducted every five years to ensure the cleanup and monitoring of sites is progressing as expected, Zimmerman said.

A team of three or four people will evaluate every aspect of the project, she said. Representatives from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services also have supervised the projects over the years.

“They will go back through all the contracts, they will walk the site, they will interview people with the community and they will interview people with the state,” Zimmerman said.

There is no indication of any problems at Tinkham or Ottati & Goss, Zimmerman said. But if there were, the reviews would pinpoint areas for improvement, she said.

“If there needs to be a change, we will go back out and make the change,” Zimmerman said.

The groundwater at the two sites continues to be monitored following years of cleanup, according to DES representatives Andrew Hoffman and Kenneth Richards.

The cleanup at Ottati & Goss began with the removal of barrels in 1979 and treatment of soil in 2001. The cleanup finally ended in 2011, according to Hoffman, the site’s project manager.

“We have been in the monitoring phase for some time,” he said. “It looks promising.”

At Tinkham Garage, the soil and groundwater cleanup began in 1994 and the property was redeveloped several years later, according to Richards, the project manager.

Home Depot and Staples were constructed in 2003 and there is a 400-tenant condominium complex on another part of the site, in addition to other new homes.

“It’s a good example of how sites can be put back to good use,” Richards said.