The City of Salem is home to an estimated 28,951 residents, and it’s located in Rockingham County, NH.
This report will help you become better acquainted with Salem and the surrounding area by addressing the following questions:
Are there any hazardous sites in Rockingham County, NH?
How clean is the air in Rockingham County, NH?
What’s the average radon level for homes in Rockingham County, NH?
Is the water in Rockingham County, NH safe to drink?
Hazardous Sites near Salem, NH
There are eight Superfund sites in Rockingham County, NH. Superfund sites, like Beede Waste Oil in Plaistow, NH, are areas that have been contaminated with hazardous substances. If not for the cleanup efforts orchestrated by the EPA, these sites could endanger people living in nearby communities.
The EPA uses the Hazardous Ranking System (HRS) to quantify the risk a contaminated site poses to human health and the environment. Sites assigned HRS scores of 28.5 or greater qualify for placement on the National Priorities List (NPL), and are eligible to receive federal funding for cleanup efforts.
Before the EPA deletes a site from the NPL, it conducts reviews to ensure the cleanup was sufficient. As a result, some sites remain on the active site list long after cleanup activities are complete.
For more information about the Superfund sites located in the Salem, NH area, be sure to review the map and background information provided below:
A. Beede Waste Oil (HRS Score: 71)
The Beede Waste Oil site, home to a waste oil storage and recycling facility from the 1920s until 1994, is located in Plaistow, NH.
Contaminants found at the Beede Waste Oil site include:
B. Keefe Environmental Services (KES) (HRS Score: 65)
The Keefe Environmental Services (KES) site, a chemical waste storage facility from 1978 until 1981, is located in Epping, NH.
Contaminants found at the Keefe Environmental Services (KES) site include:
Dichloromethane (Methylene Chloride)
C. Ottati & Goss/Kingston Steel Drum (HRS Score: 53)
The Ottati & Goss/Kingston Steel Drum site, where industrial drum reconditioning and hazardous waste processing occurred, is located in Kingston, NH.
Contaminants found at the Ottati & Goss/Kingston Steel Drum site include:
D. Tinkham Garage (HRS Score: 43)
The Tinkham Garage site, where waste from septic tank trucks was disposed of improperly in 1978 and 1979, is located in Londonderry, NH.
Contaminants found at the Tinkham Garage site include:
Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
Chloroethene (Vinyl Chloride)
E. Mottolo Pig Farm (HRS Score: 41)
The Mottolo Pig Farm site, used for the disposal of over 1,600 containers of wastes from 1975 to 1979, is located in Raymond, NH.
Contaminants found at the Mottolo Pig Farm site include:
F. Pease Air Force Base (HRS Score: 39)
The Pease Air Force Base site, officially closed in April 1991, is located in Portsmouth/Newington, NH.
Contaminants found at the Pease Air Force Base site include:
G. Auburn Road Landfill (HRS Score: 36)
The Auburn Road Landfill site is located in Londonderry, NH.
Contaminants found at the Auburn Road Landfill site include:
H. Coakley Landfill (HRS Score: 29)
The Coakley Landfill site is located in North Hampton, NH.
Contaminants found at the Coakley Landfill site include:
Air Quality in the Salem, NH Area
The two most widespread forms of air pollution are ozone (smog) and particle pollution (soot). Exposure to these harmful pollutants, for even just a short period, can have adverse effects on your health.
Thanks to data collected by air monitoring equipment located across the country, the American Lung Association (ALA) is able to assess and track our air quality using three metrics:
Short-term Particle Pollution
Year-round Particle Pollution
In their 2019 annual report, the ALA rated the air quality in Rockingham County, NH as follows:
Grading Scale: A-F
Grading Scale: A-F
Grading Scale: Pass/Fail
Radon Levels in Salem, NH Area
Air quality inside your home can be impacted by a number of factors, including the presence of hazardous substances in building materials (asbestos, lead, formaldehyde, etc.) and local radon levels.
Radon is a naturally occurring gas you cannot see or smell. It can build up inside your home and negatively impact your indoor air quality as well as your health.
To provide a guideline, the EPA assigned one of three zones to each U.S. county and county equivalent:
Zone 1 (higher radon levels)
Zone 2 (moderate levels)
Zone 3 (lower levels)
Indoor radon readings in Rockingham County, NH are expected to average from 2 to 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L), so the county has been assigned EPA Radon Zone 2.
EPA Radon Zone
According to the EPA, you should consider acting to reduce your home's radon level if it measures between 2 and 4 pCi/L, so if you're contemplating buying a home in Salem, NH, you should have a radon test performed.
Water Quality in Salem, NH Area
In accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the EPA sets regulatory limits for drinking water contaminants known to cause adverse health effects.
The following Rockingham County, NH water provider(s) violated the maximum allowable level for one or more regulated contaminants:
Skin damage or problems with circulatory systems, and may have increased risk of getting cancer
In addition to setting enforceable standards for harmful contaminants, the EPA also established guidelines to assist public water providers in managing the taste, odor and color of their drinking water.
To find out more about what’s in your drinking water, contact your utility company and request a copy of the latest Consumer Confidence Report.
Sources and Methods
Hazardous Sites: Identified using a report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), hazardous sites detailed on trendingtowns.com represent sites contained on the National Priorities List (NPL) as of November 25, 2019. The NPL is the list of national priorities among the known releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants throughout the United States and its territories. All site-related data was sourced from the EPA.
Air Quality: Grades for ozone, short-term particle pollution, and year-round particle pollution were obtained from State of the Air 2019, a report compiled by the American Lung Association.
Radon Zones: Radon zone designations were obtained using a public use dataset provided by the EPA (September 11, 2019).
Water Quality: Drinking water violation data was sourced from the Safe Drinking Water Information System (SDWIS), a public use database provided by the EPA. The dataset included violations submitted to the database as of the third quarter of 2019.
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