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0000017a-15d9-d736-a57f-17ff8a390002"A national treasure in our backyard"It spans more than 13,000 acres. Nearly a quarter of the state’s population lives within its watershed. In a 2010 series, Amy Quinton looked at the trouble pollution poses to the health of this critical estuary, and some proposed solutions for returning the Seacoast’s Great Bay to health.Now, NHPR's Environment Reporter Sam Evans-Brown brings you continuing coverage of the efforts being made in the Great Bay.Coverage supported by Penn State Public Media.Great Bay Watershed Map | More Great Bay Images

Pease Agrees To Address Contaminated Stormwater Runoff In Settlement

Port City Air

A major settlement signed Friday will require Pease International Tradeport to clean up water pollution from its stormwater runoff.

The Pease Development Authority was sued more than two years ago by the Boston-based Conservation Law Foundation for federal Clean Water Act violations.

CLF says stormwater runoff from Pease has contaminated the Great Bay estuary with nitrogen, bacteria, heavy metals, petroleum products and likely toxic PFAS chemicals.

Now, CLF and Pease have reached a settlement in U.S. District Court that will require the tradeport to get a federal municipal storm sewer permit.

They'll have to clean up polluted runoff from new and existing development, and do more testing and cutting-edge treatment of PFAS chemicals in nearby surface waters.

Those chemicals have also been found in Pease's drinking water. They're thought to have come from past military operations.

The settlement will add to ongoing military efforts to study and clean up contamination at the tradeport, which has been a federal Superfund site since 1990.

In a statement, CLF says the new settlement is the first of its kind to require a redeveloped base to get a federal sewer permit, or to mandate pilot treatment technologies for PFAS.

Annie has covered the environment, energy, climate change and the Seacoast region for NHPR since 2017. She leads the newsroom's climate reporting project, By Degrees.
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