The contaminated Old Groveland Road landfill site requires a property value appraisal before it may be used for a solar farm.
Haverhill city councilors are being asked to declare the former landfill site as surplus and to authorize the mayor to designate Missouri-based developer Sun Edison as “the preferred vendor” and enter into negotiations to lease the property, in response to a “request for proposals,” issued last November. A lease agreement would be brought back before the council for its approval.
The landfill is a designated “Superfund” cleanup site by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The designation makes its cleanup a priority.
“Groundwater beneath the site is contaminated with low levels of volatile organic compounds. In 1999, (Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection) with the concurrence of EPA entered into a legal cooperative agreement with the city of Haverhill and Aggregate Industries (the responsible parties), to properly grade, cap and monitor the landfill under MassDEP Bureau of Solid Waste and the Massachusetts Contingency Plan rules and regulations. Also, because the site is listed on the National Priorities List (NPL) as a Federal Superfund Site, the responsible parties will also need to fulfill EPA requirements once the final site investigations, grading, capping and final closure activities are completed,” the EPA says.
An appraisal of the former landfill property is required by law before a leased can be signed, according to Mayor James J. Fiorentini. “An appraisal is the final step to make certain that our taxpayers of the city receive the best and fairest value for the property,” Fiorentini said. He did not say whether he expects the site’s contaminated status to lower its valuation.
The lease period would be at least 20 years and not more than 40 years.
The former city landfill consists of two parcels with a total 22.27 acres and total assessed land value of $194,600. “Final proposal acceptance will be based on mutual benefit and negotiation with both parties. Aggregate Industries has not committed to the purchase of any net-metering credits as a result of this RFP,” according to documents.
The Haverhill city council meets at 7 p.m., Tuesday, in council chambers at Haverhill City Hall.