City of Portsmouth Provides Notification That Methuen Construction Will Not Achieve the December 1 Milestone for Peirce Island Wastewater Treatment Facility Work

November 22, 2019

Portsmouth, New Hampshire -- The City of Portsmouth Legal Department has notified the Environmental Protection Agency, the State of New Hampshire and the Conservation Law Foundation -- all of whom are parties to the Consent Decree that mandates the City’s upgrade of the Peirce Island Wastewater Treatment Facility to secondary treatment-- that the General Contractor for the project, Methuen Construction, will not achieve the December 1, 2019 interim construction milestone to substantially complete the Biological Aerated Filter (BAF).  Substantial completion of the BAF is now expected by December 13, 2019.

The City has received assurances that this two-week delay to reach substantial completion should not affect the City’s ability to meet the April 1, 2020 Consent Decree deadline for meeting permit compliance.

Deputy City Attorney Suzanne M. Woodland stated: “The City is very disappointed that the milestone for substantial completion will not be achieved. However, we are guardedly optimistic that there will be no further slippage in the schedule. The project has, by and large, progressed reasonably well, given the challenges of the location and other complexities. The contractor and its subcontractors all appear to be committed to delivering this project without further delay. Methuen Construction is aware of its contractual obligations and the City is in close communication with the parties to the Consent Decree.”

The City has been closely tracking the progress of the work and posting monthly reports, as required under the Consent Decree. As recently as November 15, 2019, the City received assurances from Methuen Construction that the December 1, 2019 deadline would be met. In communications this week, it became clear that the December 1, 2019 milestone was not achievable and the Consent Decree parties should be so notified.