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Officials meet to discuss coal tar cleanup at Gilford site

GILFORD - The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services will meet with residents tonight to detail its cleanup plan for a Liberty Hill lot that was found to be contaminated with coal tar.

The cleanup proposal, prepared by GEI Consultants, Inc. of Woburn, Mass., would clean the soils between 69 and 87 Liberty Hill Road.

The plan is an agreement between the Department of Environmental Services and the current owner of the site, Liberty Utilities, to remove 45,000 cubic yards, or approximately 61,000 tons, of contaminated soil for treatment elsewhere by 2014.

The proposal calls for an excavation to as deep as 55 feet.

Liberty Utilities, which acquired the property from National Grid last year, will pay the cost of the cleanup, which is estimated at between $8 million and $16 million, said Town Administrator Scott Dunn.

There will be more than 1,700 feet of fencing around the project, according to DES officials.

If the plan is approved by town and state officials, the cleanup will take two years to complete.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Gilford Public Library Meeting Room.

DES officials said the meeting is to discuss the cleanup plan, the status of the site and actions for moving forward with the cleanup plan.

In 2004, Keyspan, a former owner of the property, discovered that in 1952 about 430 tons of coal tar was dumped on the property as a result of an explosion of a Winnipesaukee River gas plant.

Keyspan and National Grid have been working with the state and the town since then on a remediation plan for the property.


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