Since we learned of the presence of PFOA in the water at our Merrimack, New Hampshire, plant and advised the authorities, we have worked closely with state and local officials to investigate the source or sources of PFOA in the Merrimack area.
We voluntarily conducted the initial tests that showed PFOA in the water at our facility and immediately began work with local officials to explore solutions for providing potable water to the residents within the area.
On March 20, in partnership with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, we announced we reached an agreement on the Consent Decree to fund the extension of municipal water service to an additional 298 properties in portions of the towns of Merrimack, Litchfield and Bedford. We will also fund the installation of curb stops to 109 currently underdeveloped properties in Merrimack, Litchfield, Manchester, and Bedford so that municipal water may be provided to such properties in the future if those properties are developed.
Below are updates to the individual communities and the in-progress programs for each:
Merrimack: For residents of Merrimack, 20 homes were connected to the municipal water lines of the Merrimack Village District (MVD) before the Consent Decree agreement, and under the Consent Decree, municipal water line connections will be provided to 41 additional properties in Merrimack.
We have also reached an agreement with the MVD to fund the design, construction and installation of a Granular Activated Carbon filtration system for wells 4 and 5. We understand from MVD that its final design is expected to be completed by Winter 2018 and that construction will begin shortly thereafter.
Litchfield: The work to connect 370 Litchfield homes to the Pennichuck public water system is near completion. New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) has discontinued bottled water deliveries to the homes that are fully connected, or whose occupants declined to be connected. Work is also complete with regard to connecting an additional 18 homes in Litchfield that were identified after the initial project began. Per the Consent Decree, we will also fund the construction of municipal water line extensions to 27 additional properties in Litchfield.
Manchester: For residents of Manchester, work is complete to connect 26 homes to the municipal water lines of Manchester Water Works.
Bedford: Per the Consent Decree, we will fund a municipal water line extension from Manchester Water Works and the provision of municipal water line connections to 121 properties in Bedford and POET systems for four additional properties in Bedford where it is not feasible to extend municipal water lines. Pennichuck Corporation is preparing bid documents based on design work completed last year and construction is expected to begin later this year.
As a member of the community, Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics believed it was important to take a leadership position in bringing potable water to the residents surrounding our plant. Even as investigations into the source or sources of PFOA continue, we made this a top priority, as we want to remain an important and positive part of this community.
Significant progress has been made to bring potable water to the communities. The multi-step process – from the design studies needed to the engineering plans – that it takes to connect homes to municipal water supplies takes time. While this work is underway, we have provided bottled water and POU systems, which effectively remove PFOA from the water. We will continue to keep residents apprised of progress on this page, as we are able to do so.
Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics’ Merrimack facility produces specialty coated fabrics and films for a range of industrial applications. This includes fabric for the roof of the iconic Denver Airport and the retractable roof of the AT&T Stadium in Dallas (Cowboys). It also supplies Hazmat protective suits globally; for example, it supplies to the Chicago Fire Department. It also donated Hazmat suits to the Merrimack Fire Department in 2009.
We are committed to this community in many ways, and it is in our collective best interests to see Merrimack flourish.
From an environmental standpoint, we set extremely rigorous standards for ourselves. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics strives, globally, to be a leader in sustainability and in the environment and has been recognized countless times for our efforts in this space. The collective and continuous effort to improve our environment is one we take seriously. In addition, we adhere to applicable laws and follow industry best practices when it comes to the management and disposal of materials used in our various facilities.
Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics is cooperating and in communication with officials in the community regarding the testing and engineering options available. We are working with a variety of officials from a number of agencies including the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, Pennichuck public water system, Merrimack Village District and Manchester Water Works to tailor the plans for each individual community.
NHDES and Saint-Gobain have been working cooperatively and without a formal agreement for more than two years in response to the presence of PFOA in groundwater in the area. During this time, more than 1,500 samples have been collected from groundwater, surface water, and water supply wells. In addition, Saint-Gobain voluntarily provided bottled water to residents living in the towns, provided point-of-use treatment systems for more than 50 properties, and connected more than 450 properties to municipal water lines.
Pursuant to the Consent Decree, every effort will be made to connect properties with an existing water line extension design before the end of 2018, weather, contracting availability and other similar factors permitting. Water line extensions to properties where design plans need to be completed will be done as soon as possible, but no later than November 2019.
On March 20, the NH DES and Saint-Gobain announced that they reached an agreement to extend municipal water service to an additional 298 properties in portions of the towns of Bedford, Litchfield and Merrimack.Learn More
Saint-Gobain, the world leader in the habitat and construction markets, designs, manufactures and distributes building and high-performance materials, providing innovative solutions to the challenges of growth, energy efficiency and environmental protection.