Lowell suspends contract to take polluted runoff from landfill

The plant drains into the Merrimack River, which provides drinking water to more than 500,000 people.

Officials in Lowell said they had suspended a contract with a New Hampshire landfill that sent a large volume of toxic runoff into the Merrimack River.
Officials in Lowell said they had suspended a contract with a New Hampshire landfill that sent a large volume of toxic runoff into the Merrimack River. –Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

LOWELL, Mass. (AP) — Officials in Lowell say they’ve suspended a contract that allows a New Hampshire landfill to send up to 100,000 gallons of polluted runoff daily to their plant that treats water bound for a major drinking water source.

The Boston Globe reports Lowell officials, pressured by lawmakers and environmental advocates, say they’re halting intake of runoff to the treatment plant in the city “out of an abundance of caution.”

Environmental regulators renewed the permit for the Turnkey Landfill in Rochester, New Hampshire, in September, allowing it to send runoff to Lowell.

The plant drains into the Merrimack River, which provides drinking water to more than 500,000 people.

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The landfill’s owner has acknowledged the runoff contains potentially harmful chemicals known collectively as PFAS.

The treatment plant isn’t equipped to filter out PFAS.

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