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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Changes approved for Nashua landfill gas system

Nashua residents living near the Four Hills Landfill will have reason to celebrate a set of legal agreements executed by the Board of Aldermen on Tuesday.

The board voted to settle a legal battle with the company that previously operated the gas collection system at the landfill. It also executed a 25-year contract with a Pennsylvania company to operate the system that converts the gas into electricity. ...

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Nashua residents living near the Four Hills Landfill will have reason to celebrate a set of legal agreements executed by the Board of Aldermen on Tuesday.

The board voted to settle a legal battle with the company that previously operated the gas collection system at the landfill. It also executed a 25-year contract with a Pennsylvania company to operate the system that converts the gas into electricity.

While residents probably won’t see a significant change in the way those systems are operated, they might smell the difference. For the first time in decades, the city will soon have control over how much foul-smelling gas is being sucked up out of the ground, giving Nashua the ability to prevent it from escaping into the air.

Preventing odors was one of the central issues that stemmed from the court battle between Nashua and Fortistar, the company that previously operated the entire system.

Nashua has been at odds with the company over the last several years regarding how much gas is being collected. Fortistar has challenged requests to pay for expansions of the gas collection system mandated by the state Department of Environmental Services.

“We had a lot of odor issues at the landfill, and we had a company that wasn’t willing to work with us to try to minimize the odors,” Nashua corporation counsel Stephen Bennett said previously.

Nashua agreed to pay $525,000 to end its 30-year contract with Fortistar and take over all of the equipment at the landfill. In turn, PPL Renewable Energy will reimburse the city the entire amount of the settlement for the rights to generate electricity from the landfill gas.

The city faced an August court deadline to finalize its plan to replace Fortistar.

– JIM HADDADIN