Dartmouth College Creates Program To Protect Property Value Affected By Contamination

Feb 6, 2017

Dartmouth College is implementing a program to protect property value in the Hanover neighborhood affected by a contamination caused by the school.

Neighbors around the Rennie Farm property – where hazardous waste was buried and chemicals seeped into the ground water – have raised concerns about how that will affect the value of their homes.

That is why Dartmouth officials say it the school is starting the Rennie Farm Value Assurance Program.

Depending on property conditions and appraisal, the school will offer payment to property owners – including the possible purchase of some homes.

In a press release, Dartmouth specifies some of those conditions: “whether the chemical 1,4-dioxane from Rennie Farm has been found on the property; whether the College has accessed the land to install monitoring wells or treatment systems to investigate or remediate; whether the property is for sale; and the location of the land.”

Ellen Arnold, the director of Real Estate at Dartmouth College, says 48 properties are eligible for the benefits at this time, according to the suspected trajectory of the chemical plume in the neighborhood.

“The goal of it is really to provide some stability in the real estate market,” she told VPR on Monday, “and [also to] let property owners in area know that there is a buyer for their property and/or that they'll get fair market value for their property.”

Meanwhile, the College is facing a likely lawsuit from a Hanover couple that found a chemical leftover from the contamination in their drinking water.