DERRY — Even though it has contamination, the former Difeo Oil site can be cleaned up and redeveloped if the town so desires, a public works engineer recently told town councilors.
Councilors received an update Tuesday night on the town’s ongoing environmental monitoring of the property at 3 Central Court from Craig Durrett, who works as an environmental engineer with the Department of Public Works.
Durrett appeared before the council to discuss the environmental monitoring after Councilor Al Dimmock had questions about the site and a few other properties in town at a June 3 meeting.
The town-owned property was previously the site of the Difeo Oil operation and has some petroleum contamination, Durrett said. The town has cleaned up contaminated soil at the site and is conducting long-term monitoring of the groundwater for petroleum contamination, Durrett said.
“At this time our liability is just the long-term monitoring,” Durrett said.
In terms of funding, the monitoring is being paid through a state oil disbursement program. That program, in turn, is funded through taxes on fuel at the pump and on deliveries, Durrett said.
When asked by Councilor Michael Fairbanks if there were any obstacles to development, Durrett said, “No, development of contaminated properties takes place all of the time, it depends on the level of development you want to do.”
Durrett said he has previously worked on some Superfund sites that could be cleaned up and still redeveloped.
“So it happens all of the time — these are relatively benign sites compared to some that I’ve personally worked on,” Durrett said.
Councilor Thomas Cardon has said the site should be turned into a park, while other councilors have suggested the property should be sold.
Council Chairman Mark Osborne asked if there were any town-owned properties, with respect to the environment, that needed attention.
“Any properties that we have that we are required to address environmentally, we are actively doing; we are in full compliance with all of our properties,” Durrett said.