Family reaches settlement with Dartmouth over water contamination
Family reaches settlement with Dartmouth over water contamination.
Union Leader Correspondent HANOVER — Dartmouth College has reached a settlement with the Higgins family who said they suffered health problems from drinking well water contaminated by runoff from a site where the college once dumped animals used in scientific experiments.
The college issued a statement Wednesday saying it and the Higgins family “have reached a negotiated settlement of all claims related to contamination of the drinking water well at 9 Rennie Road.” It said it will allow the family of Richard and Debbie Higgins “to move on with their lives in a new location.” “We’re just happy that we are being able to move on,” Richard Higgins said Wednesday.
He said they are hoping to stay in Hanover, but it depends on if they can find a suitable building lot on which they can build a wheelchair accessible home for themselves.
Higgins would not comment on the details of the agreement.
The Higgins revealed in Febuary 2016 that they were in mediation with the college after their water tested at 6 parts per billion of 1,4-dioxane, exceeding state standards of 3 parts per billion.
The chemical was used in the animal experiments.
The Environmental Protection Agency classifies 1,4-dioxane as a probable human carcinogen and says exposure may cause damage to the central nervous system, liver and kidneys.
The lab animal dumping ground was used by Dartmouth’s medical school from 1960 to the mid-1970s and operated under a state license.