Merrimack River is key source of drinking water in region


Washington (November 8, 2019) – Massachusetts Senators Edward J. Markey and Elizabeth Warren, and Representatives Richard Neal (MA-01), Seth Moulton (MA-05), and Lori Trahan (MA-03) are calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reassess a permit that would allow water from the Turnkey landfill in New Hampshire – which contains dangerous levels of hazardous substances – from being discharged into the Merrimack River. In particular, the water discharged from the landfill contains per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS. Certain PFAS, often called “forever chemicals” because they accumulate and persist in the environment and food sources, are linked to cancer, thyroid disease, infertility and learning and developmental abnormalities. The Turnkey landfill water has shown extremely high levels of PFAS, including some that are more than 1,000 times higher than the EPA’s lifetime health advisory.


Just yesterday, in an effort to protect residents’ confidence in its drinking water, the City of Lowell is suspending acceptance of runoff water from the Turnkey landfill.  


“PFAS already pose a serious health risk to residents across Massachusetts,” write the Massachusetts lawmakers in their letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Efforts to address existing contamination will likely be both lengthy and expensive. Out state does not need additional PFAS pollution to contend with as we work to clean up legacy contamination in our air, soil, and water.” 


A copy of the letter can be found HERE.