Dover, metal recycler reach settlement over water pollution

Published: 12/8/2021 5:10:00 PM
Modified: 12/8/2021 5:09:33 PM

The city of Dover says it reached a settlement with the metal recycler that was fined for polluting a key city aquifer, in which the company will pay more than $13 million to build and operate a new water treatment facility.

The city council were set to vote on the proposed settlement with New England Metal Recycling Inc. on Wednesday, Foster’s Daily Democrat reported.

The cost of the proposed Pudding Hill Water Treatment Facility project is forecast to be around $15 million, which includes construction, engineering and operating costs for the first three years.

The city would take over operation of the facility after three years, unless contamination is still elevated, in which case the company would be responsible for covering $295,000 a year in operating costs until levels drop, the newspaper reported.

The company, which salvages components from used automobiles, was fined $2.7 million last year in what the New Hampshire attorney general’s office said was the largest fine ever in the state for a hazardous waste violation.

The state found the company buried about 20,000 cubic yards of waste created by the shredding of old cars. Some of the waste was determined to be hazardous, and officials found plumes of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the some of the Pudding Hill wells, the newspaper reported.

“Pudding Hill has been one of our longest standing aquifers,” John Storer, director of community services for Dover, told the newspaper. “We can get 40% of our capacity from this aquifer, so having it out of service has been tough for us to adjust.”

The city has applied for a $1.5 million grant from the state’s PFAS program and will apply for another $1 million low-cost loan from the same program to cover the remaining costs of the water treatment project, the newspaper reported.

Phone calls made to a number listed for New England Metal Recycling were not answered Wednesday.


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