From the Desk of
Tom Kinisky

President and CEO of Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics


 

Learn more about the actions Saint-Gobain is taking in Merrimack to provide safe drinking water for the community.

 
 

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: WHAT are the actions saint-gobain performance plastics has taken since detecting pfoa in the drinking water in the merrimack area?

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: At our facility in Merrimack, after connecting Point of Use (POU) systems to our facility, the tap water at our plant shows PFOA is non-detect and the water is potable for drinking.

For residents of Merrimack, work is in progress to connect 21 Merrimack homes to the municipal water lines of the Merrimack Valley District. 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 also offered to fund moving and renewing the Granular Activated Carbon filtration system first used in Hoosick Falls to the 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:  Work is currently underway to connect 360 Litchfield homes to the Pennichuck public water system. This work is expected to be completed by Fall of 2017. There are additional homes in Litchfield that could not be connected to the public water system, so work is underway to connect these residents to a separate water supply.

Manchester:  For residents of Manchester, work is in progress to connect 26 homes to the municipal water lines of Manchester Water Works.

Bedford: Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics has agreed to fund the design study for a potential extension of public water service into Bedford, New Hampshire, which the Pennichuck Corporation will perform. This study is expected to be completed by Fall of 2017.

 

Q: Why did saint-gobain take these actions?

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. 

Q: is there pfoa in my drinking water if i'm a resident of merrimack or a surrounding town?

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.

 

Q: Who is saint-gobain performance plastics?

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.

 

Q: what is saint-gobain performance plastics doing with the state and local officials to test the water and figure out the next steps to take in regard to pfoa?

Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics is 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.

JOINT PRESS RELEASE FROM NHDES and Saint-GoBAIN

Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics will fund engineering design work on potential public water extension in Bedford, NH

Announcement FROM NHDES and Saint-GoBAIN

Work is underway to connect 360 Litchfield homes to the Pennichuck public water system

NEW HAMPSHIRE DES MEDIA CENTER

Visit the NH DES media center for the latest news from the agency. Saint-Gobain is working closely with the NH DES to keep residents informed.

JOINT PRESS RELEASE FROM GOVERNORS HASSAN (NH), SHUMLIN (VT) AND CUOMO (NY) TO THE EPA

The Governors of New Hampshire, New York and Vermont call for the EPA to review the federal standards for PFOA


WHAT IS A POET SYSTEM?

Learn more about point-of-entry (POET) systems, including what they are and how they work.