By Alex Malm
During the April 7 Londonderry Water Task Force meeting they weren’t able to have public comments due to the NH Department of Environmental Services hosting the meeting and it being through a webinar.
“Unfortunately because of the technology we weren’t able to take public comment,” Tom Dolan, Chair of the Task Force stated.
With that said during the April 21 meeting public comments were heard.
One of those who spoke during the meeting was Ray Breslin.
“I want to congratulate you folks who stepped up. The Town has stepped up and formed this task force,” he said.
One of the things that he talked about during his remarks was about the need for the general public to be included.
He asked if members of the task force are allowed to have conversations on their own with members of the public.
Dolan said that they are allowed to talk to members of the public outside of the meetings anytime.
Breslin said that there is a lot of good information about different things including about wells and the responsibilities that come with having one from the NH Environmental Services and asked if the information could go on the website.
“The NH Department of Environmental Services are the people to go to,” he said.
Dolan said that he should direct the information to him or Assistant Town Manager Lisa Drabik www.londonderrynh.org/user/112/contact and if the information is appropriate they will put it online.
He also noted that they have the power point presentation from NHDES from their last meeting which they will put on the website.
Another topic that was discussed during the meeting in regards to the workshops that they will be hosting to both educate the public about issues in regards to water and a way for people to find companies to use for both testing and mitigation.
Dolan said that they will have the NHDES there to educate people about water testing and will also have different companies there to tell residents different services they can offer for testing and mitigation.
“It’s going to be like a trade show,” he said.
Dolan said that they should have the workshop on June 2 at the Londonderry High School Cafeteria.
“If we wait much longer than that we are going to be stumbling into summer vacation,” he said.
He said that it will be a great way to help educate the public and help the Task Force learn about things and what to think about when they make decisions.
In other news one of the Task Force members brought up the fact that he had his well tested and then received a detailed letter about the results from the lab.
He said that the NHDES has a map on the website that shows the PFAS results and asked if they are automatically notified about the results and update it or if homeowners have to. Dolan said that NHDES is notified.
This led to a discussion about whether or not the test results are public information and if it could be shared with the public without the property owners permission.
Drabik said the NHDES are contacted automatically and it is put on the map where people can click on it and see the report which will tell people the PFAS values in the water.
She said that while the actual address isn’t marked people can determine where it is on the map.
Dolan said that he thinks that they should address the issue with the Town’s Attorney to see what the legality is with privacy issues and whether or not they are allowed to share the addresses with the public.
“I’m not sure why we would need to,” said Drabik saying that the map gives people the information but people wouldn’t need the address.
Dolan said that he wants to make sure they don’t have a privacy complaint if they accidentally reveal someone’s address.
“I just want to be overly cautious that we aren’t doing anything to hurt anybody,” he said.
Dradik said that the map isn’t maintained by the Town.
“I just want to be clear that this isn’t a map maintained by us, it’s a map maintained by DES,” she said.
Dolan said he thinks that they should ask what rules DES is following so they can mimic and support their rules.
Town Councilor Deb Paul also spoke during the meeting saying that they need to be looking for funds at the same time they are looking for answers.
“I think those two things need to be done together otherwise you’re going to be playing catchup,” she said.
Dolan said that the search for money is ahead of the technical data.
”That’s a good thing,” she said.
She also asked if they figured out all the different contributors are and the responsible parties for the contamination of the water.
“There are other contributors and the more contributors you can find that also helps,” she said.
Dolan said that they are engaged with every level of government seeking funds and have legal resources looking for private sources as well.
The next Water Task Force meeting is slated for May 5 at 7 p.m.