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EPA and DES Approve Final Cleanup Plan for Dover Municipal Landfill in Dover, NH

Release Date: 10/08/04
Contact Information:

Contact: Daryl Luce, EPA Project Manager (617-918-1336)

For Immediate Release: Oct. 8, 2004; Release # 04-10-10

BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, with concurrence from the NH Department of Environmental Services (DES), has approved a $19.3 million cleanup plan for the Dover Municipal Landfill site in Dover, NH. EPA announced the cleanup decision for the Superfund site in a document called the Amended Record of Decision (AROD) on September 30.

Prior to issuing its decision, EPA solicited public comment between June and August 2004 on its proposal. The comprehensive cleanup plan addresses soil, sediment, groundwater and surface water contamination at the 50-acre site. The use of groundwater as a future drinking water source presents the most prevalent site risk. Groundwater is contaminated primarily with arsenic and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

The Amended ROD includes the following major components:

    • The landfill will be left in its present, uncapped state by maintaining the existing natural soil cover to prevent contact.
    • A treatment trench installed at the edge of the landfill will be installed to immobilize, capture, or destroy ground water contaminants flowing from the landfill.
    • Contaminated ground water flowing to the Cocheco River will be cleaned up through natural attenuation. EPA and DES will monitor these processes.
    • Contaminated ground water flowing toward the Bellamy Reservoir will be intercepted, extracted and treated to restore the aquifer to drinking water standards.
    • A groundwater management zone will be established to ensure no one uses contaminated groundwater until the cleanup is complete.
The use of a treatment trench as a component of the Amended ROD is an innovative approach which EPA fully supports. In the event the treatment trench does not perform as anticipated, the Amended ROD includes a contingent plan which involves capping the entire landfill.

The Amended ROD is significant milestone in that, once implemented, it will effectively prevent site contaminants in ground water from migrating away from the landfill and potentially discharging to the Bellamy Reservoir, a Class “A” water body which provides drinking water to a significant portion of southeastern New Hampshire. This Amended ROD also has the potential to restore the degraded ground water aquifer throughout the site to drinking water quality much more quickly than the original, 1991 cleanup decision. EPA anticipates this time savings may be decades. The Amended ROD differs from the original, 1991 cleanup decision which called for capping the entire landfill surface with an impermeable cap and capturing and treating leachate flowing from the landfill.

Responses to comments received during the public comment period can be found in the Responsiveness Summary, which is part of the Amended Record of Decision. A Responsiveness Summary includes written responses to significant comments, criticisms, and/or new data submitted during the public comment period. A copy of the Record of Decision and other documents regarding the site is available for public review at, the EPA Records Center in Boston, as well as on the EPA website at

Related Information:
Dover Municipal Landfill Fact Sheet
Superfund in New England