Is the landfill polluting Lake Memphremagog? Lake Champlain?
We are concerned.
From 2010 through 2019 the Coventry landfill delivered over 36 MILLION GALLONS of toxic leachate to the Newport Waste Water Treatment facility for treatment. PFAS WERE NOT removed, but the toxic effluent was discharged into the Clyde river and subsequently on to pollute Lake Memphremagog.
In the first 9 months of 2020, Montpelier received over 7 MILLION gallons of landfill leachate from the Coventry landfill (NEWSVT), and the processed effluent with PFAS chemicals included, was discharged directly into the Winooski River flowing into Lake Champlain.
We know this discharge contained toxic chemicals. In a study conducted in 2019 and released in February of 2020 by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, the concentration of the toxic chemical family PFAS from the effluent (the liquid that is discharged into the river) of various Wastewater Treatment plants in Vermont was shown. Newport and Montpelier, the two facilities that were taking in the Coventry landfill leachate at the time of the study, showed the highest level of the toxic chemical. Lake Memphremagog supplies drinking water to over 175,000 Canadians. DUMP was able to negotiate a moratorium on the treatment of leachate at the Newport Wastewater Treatment facility from November 2nd, 2019 until January 2024 when the State of Vermont is due to develop and adopt a safe standard for PFAS levels in surface water. We must do what we can to keep the lake clean, for ourselves, our children, and our Canadian neighbors!
Why do 30% of the Brown Bullhead trout found in Lake Memphremagog have cancerous lesions?
Surveys conducted by the United States Geological Survey and the State of Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, from 2014 to 2017 at two sites in Lake Memphremagog, (South Bay and Hospital Cove), have shown 30% of the adult brown bullhead trout had malignant melanomas. After repeated questions posed to the experts by representatives from DUMP, we still do not know the cause of these lesions. We hope they continue pursuing this issue to determine the cause, but we fear that the 15,000 gallons of leachate from the landfill that was processed DAILY through the Newport Wastewater Treatment facility may have adversely affected these fish, and other aquatic life. You can read the Report: USGS Brown Bullhead trout study.
DUMP Members Peggy Stevens and Chris Jacobs sounded our concern in their letters to the Editor published in the Barton Chronicle September 2nd and 9th.
9-2-2020 LTE BrownBullhead PS
9-9-2020 LTE BrownBullhead CJ
Our Canadian neighbors at Memphremagog Conservation Incorporated have been working to keep the lake clean for over 53 years. We share their concern and are committed to our partnership with them. To learn more about MCI, visit MCI’s website.