|Barrel Dump Site
Article by Kevin S.
Web Site by Matt G.
One of the
most influential projects that ever took place in Sanborn was the Ottati
and Goss/Kingston Steel Drum Superfund Site that took place in the late 1980’s.
The project was headed by Mrs. Genovese, one of Sanborn high school's Social
"I think it was my second
year teaching at Sanborn and I was teaching my civics class. I wanted to
find some way to make civics alive so I wanted to pose a question and have
the students do some research to see if they could find the answer. The question,
after we discussed it, was, ‘Can citizens affect change in their communities?’"
This was the start
of what would become a two-year project, involving an international company,
the town, the state, and the Environmental Protection Agency. In an extensive
interview with this teacher, Mrs. Genovese, she told us all the in depth
information that made this class interested in school. She said how she thought
it was only going to be a semester long project, not knowing how involved
she would really become.
The students of New Hampshire
Civics found out all sorts of information on the issue, and got a town committee
started. They even held a town meeting right here in SHRS. It turned out to
be a huge meeting involving the town committee, the EPA, people from the
state government, and a huge firm of lawyers that came from the mother company
of Ottati and Goss/Kingston Steel Drum Factory, International Chemical Corporation.
Each group collaborated and prosecuted the barrel company for what they did
to the land they owned. This was the first time Mrs. Genovese met the lawyers,
and the corporate cover-up they planned to do." They knew quite well the
stuff they did to the ground, and weren’t about to own up to it". She
describes the head lawyer as a "snake" after what he said to her, "We’ll
clean up everything that we did, you just have to prove that we did anything."
But in the end, the lawyers were conquered, as Mrs. Genovese stood tall and
continued to pursue the destruction of this company.
She described to
us one point when she and a few friends snuck on the property. She told us
about the guys who were in full body protection suits with the face masks
and "little booties".
"At one point I remember
that Geiger counter was going off like a gattling gun going bdididididididididid!"
She was laughing as she said it now, but then she told us how terrified they
Through both the studies
that Mrs. Genovese and her NH Civics class began, and out-of-school organization,
along with the investigations of the EPA the public now knows that the sight
that still remains off of Route 125 is harmful to our environment and will
be until nature corrects the harm that man caused.
Below is a little clip of the teacher we interviewed, Mrs.
Genovese, describing the lawyer from the International Chemical Corporation
talking about cleaning up the toxic land.