Freedom—November 6, 2023—Dr. Robert Newton will speak this week about why protecting the critical recharge areas of the Ossipee Aquifer is crucial for maintaining safe drinking water for homes and businesses in the aquifer region, which includes Ossipee Lake.
The presentation is free and open to the public. It will be on Friday, November 10, at 6:30 p.m. in Freedom’s Town Hall.
Newton, who has researched and written about our area for years, is opposed to the development of the former Boyle’s Market as a gas station. He has called it the “worst possible location” for such a business because of its location in a groundwater protection zone atop the region’s primary drinking water source.
His presentation on Friday is being sponsored by area residents who recently formed the Ossipee Watershed League (OWL), whose fiscal agent is Chocorua Lake Conservancy.
In addition to advancing the discussion about water protection, OWL is advocating for Tammy McPherson and Bill Bartoswicz, Ossipee property owners who live next to the proposed gas station site.
Newton’s Geoscience Solutions LLC has been advising McPherson and Bartoswicz in their appeals of the controversial development, which was conditionally approved by Effingham’s Planning Board in July. An appeal of that decision is scheduled to be heard by Effingham’s ZBA on December 6.
McPherson, who works as well as lives in Ossipee, has health challenges and is concerned about the environmental impact of a gas station being next to her home, where she lives with young members of her extended family.
Bartoswicz suffers from Agent Orange poisoning from drinking water and aerosol spray exposure during the Vietnam War. He retired to his current home after being reassured that Effingham laws prohibited a new gas station from being built at the Boyle’s Market store.
In Friday’s presentation, Dr. Newton will discuss broadly how the Ossipee Aquifer was formed, why it is unique, and why the proposed site is uniquely dangerous.
Since the gas station proposal is a Development of Regional Impact affecting ten towns, OWL hopes that businesses and homeowners from Ossipee, Freedom, Sandwich, Tamworth, Madison, Wakefield, Eaton, Effingham, Porter and Parsonsfield will attend.
The group says the range of the impacted communities points to how important the aquifer is as a primary drinking water source for the region.
Those who cannot attend the meeting but want to contribute to the abutters’ legal effort can make a tax-deductible donation to OWL’s fiscal agent, Chocorua Lake Conservancy, which is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
Checks should be made out to Chocorua Lake Conservancy with a notation that the donation is for OWL. Checks should be sent to OWL, P.O. Box 122, Freedom, NH 03836.