Under an agreement with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) New England Office, Gould Electronics Inc., has paid $1.9 million to EPA for the Agency’s costs to construct drinking water line extensions to homes with contaminated wells at the NH Dioxane Site located in Atkinson. EPA constructed the drinking water line extensions in 2014.
The site includes a residential neighborhood in Atkinson, and extends to include property in Hampstead. From about 1984 to about 2004, Johnson and Johnston Associates, Inc., manufactured metal foil products for the circuit board industry here. EPA has alleged that Gould is the legal successor to Johnson and Johnston, which Gould bought in 1999.
“This settlement demonstrates EPA’s effort to provide safe drinking water to the residents of Atkinson without taxpayers having to bear this burden alone,” says EPA New England Regional Administrator Alexandra Dunn. “When EPA is able to recover federal cleanup costs from entities responsible for pollution, it saves taxpayer dollars.”
Groundwater sampling in 2011 and 2012 by the NH DES found hazardous substances, including elevated levels of 1,4 dioxane, in nearby residential drinking water wells. This synthetic industrial chemical, used as a stabilizer in solvents, can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation and is a likely human carcinogen.
In June 2013, EPA determined that groundwater contamination at the manufacturing location exceeded EPA’s acceptable standards and posed a threat to human health in the nearby drinking water wells. A response action over the next year extended a drinking water line and connected homes with residential wells containing 1,4 dioxane above the state standard.