Read the full article by Megan Fernandes (Fosters Daily Democrat)

‘New England Metal Recycling Inc., which polluted city aquifers with harmful PFAS contaminants, has agreed to pay more than $13 million for the construction and operation of a new city water treatment facility, according to city leaders

A settlement has been reached between the city and New England Metal Recycling Inc. after months of negotiations, resulting in the company paying the large majority of the cost after previously being fined a record $2.7 million for its transgressions.

The price tag for the project is about $15 million, including a $13,927,910 contract to construct the Pudding Hill Water Treatment Facility and more than $1 million in the first two years of engineering and construction costs.

The Dover City Council will be asked to consider and approve the agreement Wednesday night.

Details of the agreement

The agreement states that New England Metal Recycling Inc. will be responsible for $11,053,212.80 to fund the construction of the treatment facilities, in addition to $1,055,000 in engineering costs, an obligation pay $885,000 over the first three years of operations to support operations and maintenance of the facility, and $25,000 to reimburse the city for legal fees. 

The city is responsible for any costs beyond that, and will take over operations and management as well as financial responsibility after the third year, unless contamination levels are still high, in which case New England Metal Recycling would be on the hook for $295,000 a year until levels go down.

The company will also be responsible for 80% of the cost of any construction change orders during the installation and construction, if any arise.

John Storer, director of Community Services for the city, said the treatment plant “wouldn’t be necessary if it weren’t for the contamination” adding the plant was designed to specifically target the contamination that’s been identified. The plant will work to rid the aquifer of the per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), 1,4 dioxane and methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) substances found in water samples.

‘Pudding Hill has been one of our longest standing aquifers,’ Storer said. ‘We can get 40% of our capacity from this aquifer, so having it out of service has been tough for us to adjust. That’s why it’s so critical to get the treatment plant up and going again, to provide us that additional capacity. The contaminating party will be responsible for things that we wouldn’t be doing if there was no contamination.'”…