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EPA Completes Review of Coakley Landfill Superfund Site

Contact Information: 
Jim Murphy (

BOSTON - EPA has completed its fourth review of the environmental cleanup at the Coakley Landfill Site in Greenland and North Hampton, N.H. by conducting a scheduled Five-Year Review as required under the Superfund statute. This review determined that continued groundwater monitoring in the area is needed in 2017.

EPA conducts site reviews every five years on previously-completed clean up and remediation work performed at Superfund sites listed on the "National Priorities List" (aka Superfund sites) to determine whether the implemented remedies at the sites continue to be protective of human health and the environment. Further, five year review evaluations identify any deficiencies to the previous work and, if called for, recommend action necessary to address them.

This Five Year Review was performed to assure that the selected remedy continues to be protective of human health and the environment. Based on this evaluation, a site-wide protectiveness determination of the remedy cannot be made at this time. To ensure long-term protectiveness, further information about the off-site groundwater will be obtained through the following actions: sampling of existing wells or installing and sampling new monitoring wells in the area south of the landfill; and sampling any private drinking water wells that may exist within the southern area of the groundwater management zone.

The specific recommended follow-up actions and general conclusions can be found in the Fourth Five Year Review Report which is available at the link below. The web link also provides additional site reports and contact information for the EPA Project Manager and Community Involvement Coordinator. Community members and local officials are invited to contact EPA with any comments or current concerns about the Coakley Landfill Site or about the conclusions of the Five Year Review Report.

The Coakley Landfill Superfund Site includes approximately 92 acres located within the towns of Greenland, North Hampton, and Rye, in Rockingham County, New Hampshire. The actual landfill covers approximately 27 acres within the total area of the Site. Landfill operations began in 1972, with waste disposal from the municipalities of Portsmouth, North Hampton, Newington, New Castle, and Pease Air Force Base. Also from 1982 through 1985, Pease Air Force Base, and the above mentioned municipalities among others, transported their refuse to an incineration plant operated by the City of Portsmouth, which in turn transported the incinerator residues to the Site until 1985 when the landfill was closed to all disposal activities.

The Site was placed on the National Priorities List in 1986. In 1990, EPA selected a long-term "source control" remedy in its Record of Decision, modified four times since, that includes consolidation of on-site waste and sediment into a capped and fenced landfill, collection and venting of landfill gases, long-term environmental monitoring, and institutional controls to prevent contact with site contaminants and to protect components of the remedy. The Record of Decision for the contaminated groundwater at Coakley was issued in September 1994. The remedy, as modified, calls for natural attenuation of the contaminated groundwater which had migrated from beneath the landfill into off-site areas, and long-term monitoring and institutional controls.