“PORTSMOUTH — City Attorney Robert Sullivan overestimated the amount the Coakley Landfill Group has spent on remediation at the Superfund cleanup site by $10 million.

Sullivan, who also chairs the CLG’s executive committee, told the Portsmouth Herald in December 2017 that the group spent about $27 million on remediation at the former landfill in North Hampton and Greenland.

‘Of the $27 million spent so far, Portsmouth taxpayers have probably paid about $13 million of that,’ he said at the time.

He later acknowledged his estimate might be inaccurate.

Judie Belanger, the city’s director of finance and administration, said her department performed ‘an internal transaction review of Coakley Landfill Group from its inception Oct. 29, 1991, to March 2018.’

Her memo to City Manager John Bohenko dated June 1 states the actual ‘total cost of the Coakley remediation to the Coakley Landfill Group to date is determined to be $16,898,985.’

Many people living around the landfill are worried dangerous chemicals leaching from the landfill will contaminate their residential drinking wells…

State Rep. Mindi Messer, D-Rye, said Saturday the CLG ‘hasn’t done any remediation at all really except for the cap’…

Messmer called Sullivan’s lack of accuracy about the CLG’s spending ‘disturbing.’

‘All along the way I’ve been concerned about the mishandling of funds and about the lack of disclosure of reallocation of funds,’ Messmer said. ‘For someone who’s in charge of the group to not have a handle on their spending by that much is really disconcerting at best’…

‘Literally, they have not done hardly anything to address a really serious health problem, instead they’ve used the money on lawyers and to settle a lawsuit,’ Messmer said.”

Read the full article by Jeff McMenemy