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For Immediate Release

June 29, 2004

Contact: Jeff Lyons
Public Information Officer
Phone: 603-271-5602

NH-DOC TO COOPERATE IN CLEAN-UP EFFORTS AT AHERN STATE PARK

(Laconia, NH) Mrs. Les Dolecal, Acting Commissioner, New Hampshire Department of Corrections, announced that the department will continue to assist in removing contaminants from water sources near the Lakes Region Facility in Laconia.

A report by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services concludes that the sanitary and storm water sewer systems on the grounds of the state prison are the most likely sources for contamination of the watershed surrounding Ahern State Park. The report suggests that the runoff occurs in short durations during summer rainfall events.

"We are committed to making appropriate long term improvements on the prison grounds to prevent the contamination of these water sources," Acting Commissioner Dolecal said.

"Since 2002 when this concern was first raised, we have continuously cooperated with the Department of Environmental Services to seek alternative solutions to this discharge matter. We are working with DES to finalize a time frame by when these improvements can be in place," Mrs. Dolecal added.

Among the recommendations are that NH-DOC identify and correct wet weather sources of contaminants as well as evaluate long term alternatives to upgrade the obsolete storm water drainage and sanitary sewer systems for this facility.

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