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 impacted area.
Below are updates to the individual communities and the in-progress programs for each:
Merrimack: For residents of Merrimack, work is progress to connect 20 Merrimack homes to the municipal water lines of the Merrimack Valley District. Eighteen of the 20 homes have been connected thus far. For the homes that were not connected as of December 31, 2016, we provided point-of-use systems (filtration devices fixed to a faucet) for temporary use until the homes are connected.
We are also continuing to discuss a Granular Activated Carbon filtration system for Merrimack Valley District (MVD) for wells 4 and 5. We are currently working with NHDES and MVD’s engineers to confirm the details and next steps for this effort.
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 to connect an additional 18 homes in Litchfield that were identified after the initial project began.
Manchester: For residents of Manchester, work is complete to connect 26 homes to the municipal water lines of Manchester Water Works.
Bedford: Discussions have continued relative to a municipal water line extension from Manchester Water Works into Bedford near Back River Road. To this end, Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics funded the engineering design study performed by Pennichuck Corporation which was recently completed and submitted to Saint-Gobain. Saint-Gobain is now working to evaluate the engineering design study and will determine the next steps upon completion of the review.
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. The wellbeing of our employees and the broader community is always top of mind and we want to remain an important and positive part of this community.
Significant progress has been made to bring potable water to impacted 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 multiple solutions, including bottled water, POET systems 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 solutions 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 Valley District and Manchester Water Works to tailor the solutions needed for each individual community.
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.