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Officials halt construction at Coleman site amid contamination concerns


June 20, 2019
OSSIPEE — Town officials here have halted construction activity at a Route 16 site while they await soil testing results.

The five-acre property at 1060 Route 16, just north of Green Mountain Furniture, is owned by Coleman Concrete. At recent selectmen's meetings, Selectman Sam Martin and the town's zoning officer, Steve McConarty, confirmed the town had a cease and desist order and Martin expressed concern hazardous material was being dumped at the site, possibly contaminating water sources.

Attempts to reach town officials for clarification, town counsel Richard Sager responded to this reporter in email exchanges. According to Sager, a cease and desist order was served to Coleman back on April 10. Apparently, McConarty was alerted to multiple loads of concrete being dumped at the site so he went for a site visit. Sager said McConarty was concerned because, "although deposited hardened concrete is allowed by the State, the materials he observed included grayish liquids and semi-solids."

The main concern, said Sager, is whether or not the concrete dumped on the property contains potentially hazardous substances. And while Coleman representatives indicate it does not, said Sager, they allowed the Town to test to be sure.

Reached for comment, Curtis Coleman, said Coleman's uses a 100 percent recyclable crushed concrete gravel that is widely used in construction in New Hampshire and across the country. He added he is working to show and educate the Town about the product. He declined comment further.

Representatives from Geo Insight, a Manchester-based environmental and engineering firm were on site last week to take samples. Sager expects the results to possibly be available next week and the cost to the Town is about $3,000. The main focus of the testing, he said, is to determine the pH level, which, he said, if it tests above 12.5 it is considered hazardous. Sager did not want to speculate on the Town's next step should the tests show elevated levels.

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