December 2021

ARA Supporting Local Conservation & Revitalization

There are many wonderful organizations doing great work preserving, protecting and revitalizing the land, waterways, neighborhoods, and public lands of NH. ARA is often called upon for environmental expertise by those who roll up their sleeves on these types of projects, because as they will be the first to tell you, it can get messy.

 

Contaminated water, soil, and buildings are some of the major hurdles that often must be cleared before restoration can begin. ARA provides guidance and environmental testing on these sites to ensure that human health and environmental compliance are among the top priorities.

 

Two projects that ARA was very proud to take part in this year were SELT-NH’s Vision for Burley Farm, and the Woodbury co-op housing revitalization, spearheaded by NH Community Loan Fund.

 

    Southeast Land Trust (SELT) is a NH based organization that has been conserving NH land and resources since 1980, including nature preserves, hiking trails, farmland, and vistas. ARA has been involved with SELT’s ongoing work at the historic Burley property in Epping, as they restore the historic buildings and ready the 237 acre site for the SELT organization's new headquarters, educational programs, preservation and public enjoyment.

 

ARA's IAQ team has donated time and services to assess the historic farm buildings on the property for the presence of asbestos, lead and mold. With the "all clear" from our IAQ Manager last month, the SELT team is excited to move forward with the historic barn preservation.

 

    The Woodbury Cooperative is a close-knit community of low and fixed income folks living in apartments and manufactured homes on a small parcel of land in Portsmouth. The neighborhood faces many challenges, including abandoned, yet taxable, commercial buildings on the site, subpar water and sewer lines, and inadequate access for emergency vehicles.

 

With help and guidance from The NH Community Loan Fund, the residents were able to avoid eviction by purchasing the land, and now as invested landowners, have a renewed inspiration for revitalization. ARA was called in to provide asbestos, lead and PCB inspections for a few of the buildings prior to demolition. Future plans for the community include the addition of four new affordable housing units, removal of the abandoned buildings, as well as safety and beautification efforts. Public resources are not available to this resident-owned community (ROC), so NHCLF is assisting with planning, support services and fundraising. 

PFAS Updates: Regulation in Maine and RCRA

We've been getting more inquiries from our friends in Maine about PFAS testing. If you have projects in Maine and have not heard, FYI, this past summer the Maine Legislature passed S.P. 64-L.D. 129, mandating PFAS testing for drinking water.

 

Here's what to know:

 

  • The new rules affect Public Water Systems, Schools & Child Care Providers.
  • An interim standard of 20 parts per trillion (ppt) for 6 PFAS is in effect: PFOS, PFOA, PFHpA, PFNA, PFHxS, and PFDA.
  • PFAS detections in exceedance of 20ppt must be reported to the state & to customers.
  • Treatment / remedies must be put in place if the standard is exceeded.
  • The drinking water sampling deadline is Dec. 31, 2022.

 

ARA is certified for PFAS via EPA Method 533 in Maine and NH, and also certified to analyze drinking water for PFAS in VT, MA, ME, NH and RI by method 537.1.  Our LC-MS/MS (isotope dilution) method is also an option for your groundwater and other (non-compliance) water samples. FMI: www.PFASresource.com

 

Is the EPA Getting Bold on PFAS?

In other PFAS news, just a few weeks ago the EPA announced that they will initiate efforts to regulate PFAS under the RCRA framework. The EPA announcement came on the heels of a petition from Governor Grisham of New Mexico, in which she urged EPA to use their authority to establish meaningful steps toward confronting the PFAS pollution /polluters issue in the United States.

 

In the EPA news release, Administrator Michael Regan announced a plan for PFAS that includes, among other things, adding four PFAS chemicals as RCRA Hazardous Constituents under Appendix VIII. The EPA has also proposed a modification to existing language such that PFAS can be cleaned up through the RCRA corrective action process.

 

Although Obama and Trump both had broad “action plans” for PFAS regulation, at first glance, Biden’s “PFAS Strategic Roadmap” seems to be packing more punch. The RCRA activity discussed in this news release, if it moves forward, will be the most significant advancement to date in addressing the PFAS issue at the Federal level.

 

Not So Fast

The compliance and liability impact that Federal PFAS regulation would have on the business community and municipalities is significant. In true DC fashion, we can expect that pushback, posturing, delays and red tape will keep the PFAS issue moving at the slow pace we’re accustomed to. It should be interesting though; stay tuned for updates!

Sample Dropoff Protocol Reminders

In the interest of best practices, best service, and safety for all, here are some friendly reminders when visiting the ARA office:

 

Please Do:

> Place samples / coolers / packages / paperwork on (black) table in front of reception desk.

> Ensure all samples are in proper containers.

> Place large/heavy items on the floor, next to or under the black table.

> Please make sure to speak to an ARA staff member before you leave!

> Ring the bell if there don't seem to be humans nearby.

> Call our main number (603.436-2001) if no one responds to the bell (our lab equipment hums loudly at times!)

 

Please Don't:

  • Please don’t place anything on the (large brown) reception desk.
  • Please don’t place lab samples into someone's hand.
  • Please don’t enter the lab area.
  • Please don’t leave samples or paperwork without speaking to someone on staff.

 

Thanks all! Happy Sampling and Happy Holidays!

 

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