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Special Election
General Election January 23rd, 2024
For the people of Dalton, Lancaster, Northumberland (Groveton) & Stratford

Speaking out on landfills ...

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We all generate trash, and we all need safe and affordable places to put it. But because of legitimate concerns about leachate, PFAS, methane and landfill gases, there needs to be more effective oversight of the current management of landfills. NH DES insists, correctly, that burial of trash is the least preferable solution, after reduction, recycling, incineration, and other means—and DES also has demonstrated that existing NH landfills, both inside and outside the North Country, have ample capacity until at least 2034, and probably 2045 and beyond as they expand. I don’t want to see Dalton or any other town in Coös become a “dumping ground” for everyone else’s trash. We certainly don’t need a landfill adjacent to Forest Lake, especially when it is designed to address problems external to our region.

I have been doing research about landfills for years. There is no perfect solution, and we have not developed a safer secure way of management of Landfills while active and when closed. With the vast majority of homes in the Town of Dalton relying upon wells for their drinking water, the potential contamination of these wells from leachate and/or PFAS would be devastating to any affected homeowner. Additionally, Waste Water Treatment Plants (WWTP) are currently not equipped to completely remove PFAS from waste water. PFAS are very resistant to biological treatment, and as a result, can end up in the WWTP effluent or in sewage sludge.

We all hear about the need to deal with our “trash”. New landfills will be needed. But landfills need to be comprehensively managed, from conception throughout their life. Definitive criteria need to be established in law for what it takes to start a new landfill, and standards need to be developed for their operation and ultimately, their closing. This issue is far too complicated, and the impact is too wide and lasting, to ignore. I will work with other legislators, as well as government environmental professionals, to help establish the correct criteria for all existing and potentially new landfills in the state of New Hampshire. This is a bipartisan problem that will require a bipartisan solution. With all my reading, I have concluded that landfills NEED to be properly managed. Unfortunately, many are not. I would encourage readers to review recent news articles regarding the landfill in Bethlehem, NH.

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