The Seacoast has been devastated over the past decade by a rash of rare pediatric cancer diagnoses – designated by state health officials as a “Cancer Cluster”. While the cause is still uncertain, the investigation by both federal and state officials has bogged down, and Seacoast-area families are rightly upset that enough has not been done to address the issue.
Currently, the Coakley Landfill superfund site in North Hampton has been under substantial scrutiny as the potential cancer cluster culprit. The Coakley Landfill collected municipal and industrial waste from the Portsmouth area from 1972 through 1982, resulting in substantial contamination from volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and metals that continues to this day. While not all VOCs are harmful, some can have compounding long term health effects. Due to their usual low concentration and the slow development of symptoms, research into VOCs and their effects is difficult.
Due to decades of legal battles and a 1992 settlement between the EPA, state of NH, and Coakley Landfill Group (which manages the site), state and local officials have very limited authority to take action to further investigate or mitigate the hazards of the Coakley Landfill site.
As your Representative in Congress, I will fight tirelessly to demand answers from the EPA, and will be an advocate for every vulnerable member of our community.