Air Force to pay $1.3 million to NH city for water clean up

August 08, 2017

PORTSMOUTH — The U.S. Air Force has agreed to pay the city of Portsmouth $1.3 million to complete the next steps in the ongoing Pease clean-up effort, as announced by Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Senator Maggie Hassan, and Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter on Tuesday.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates a real and ongoing commitment from the Air Force to rid the Pease wells of dangerous water contaminants,” said Senator Shaheen. “Granite State families who are worried about their children getting sick from drinking contaminated water deserve peace of mind, and the additional funding for this carbon filtration system is an important step forward. I’ll continue to work to improve the safety of drinking water in New Hampshire communities." 

“The announcement of this funding from the Air Force to address water contamination at Haven, Harrison, and Smith Wells is a step in the right direction, but there is more work to do to ensure that all Granite Staters and their families have access to clean, safe drinking water,” Senator Hassan said. “Communities exposed to emerging contaminants in their water understandably have many concerns about their health, and I will continue working with the Congressional Delegation and federal partners to ensure that those concerns are urgently addressed.”

“Today’s investment by the Air Force is a good next step toward addressing unacceptable PFC contamination in our drinking water,” said Congresswoman Shea-Porter. “I will continue to insist that the Air Force take financial responsibility for both cleaning up our water and for studying the health impacts of the level of PFC exposure that Pease-area residents have already experienced.”

The current Environmental Services Cooperative Agreement for Engineering Design Services will require the Air Force to provide Portsmouth will funding to complete plans for the carbon filtration system that will remove perfluorinated chemicals (PFC) in water from the Haven, Harrison and Smith Wells, which are treated at the former Pease Air Force Base water treatment facility now operated by the city. This is included in the third agreement between the Air Force and the city while the first two agreements provide funding for preliminary design services and for a pilot project and demonstration of PFC removal.

To date, the financial commitment of the Air Force for Pease mitigation activities totals $25 million. The Air Force’s projected $30 million investment in 2017 includes $13 million to retrofit the water treatment facility.

Source: NH1