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Selectmen, Board of Health Discuss Taking Contaminated Vacant Land

Town Meeting approved purchase or remediation of contaminated properties with homes last year.

After the lengthy fight over capping the 61-year landfill and purchasing or remediating contaminated properties adjacent to the transfer station, the boards of selectmen and health are now trying to finish the job.

At issue: Dealing with the remaining vacant land that also is believed to be contaminated.

The two boards met Wednesday night in executive session for about 15 minutes to discuss the contamination issues.

There was no public discussion after the selectmen returned to open session, except to say the two boards met to discuss the value of real estate property.

The boards would like to resolve the issue so any action or payments can be presented to the spring Town Meeting.

Last year the Town Meeting agreed to spend $18 million to cap the landfill and build a new transfer station.

Over the life of the landfill it has leaked contaminants that spread in the ground water to adjacent properties, mostly on Stonybrook Road.

Jeff and Kate Dinsmore, whose home was purchased last year, wrote at the time in a public letter, "The contaminants found on our property include lead (at eight times acceptable levels), nickel (seven times acceptable levels), cadmium (six times acceptable levels) and arsenic at depths of 7-15 feet deep around and under our house. While this is not considered an imminent health risk to us or others because of its depth, the material must be cleaned up to avoid long-term health risks."

The current landfill must be constantly monitored and reports on its contamination provided to the state Department of Environmental Protection under an agreement between the town and the state regarding the landfill.

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