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0000017a-15d9-d736-a57f-17ff8f4d0000NHPR’s ongoing coverage of water contamination at the former Pease Air Force Base and in the communities surrounding the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics plant in Merrimack. We’ll keep you updated on day to day developments, and ask bigger questions, such as:What do scientists know about the health effects of perfluorochemicals like PFOA, PFOS and PFHxS?How are policy makers in New Hampshire responding to these water contaminants?How are scientists and policymakers communicating potential risks?How are other states responding to similar contaminations?

Bedford Residents May Get Uncontaminated Water From Manchester

Annie Ropeik for NHPR

State officials say they're close to finalizing a deal that would bring clean water to Bedford residents whose wells have been contaminated with toxic chemicals called PFCs since 2016.

The contamination likely came from air emissions at the nearby Saint Gobain Plastics Plant. Since then, many residents have been drinking bottled water as they wait for Saint Gobain to pay to connect them to Manchester's water system.

That deal has been delayed since last year amid negotiations over what homes should be included. The state expects Saint Gobain to agree to include all the affected homes by the end of next month. If not, the next step could be suing.

“We've made it extremely clear that we consider all the disputed areas to be in the design and we expect them to sign on to some solution by the end of February, or we're going to use the other tools that we've got available to us,” said Clark Freise, the state’s assistant Environmental Services commissioner, at a community meeting with a few dozen Bedford residents Thursday night.

The meeting also covered results from blood tests, done last fall and already announced in other nearby towns. They show residents who live closer to Saint Gobain are more likely to have elevated levels of certain PFCs in their blood.

Some studies have linked PFCs to cancer and other issues. They were commonly used into recent decades in a range of manmade, household products.

Annie has covered the environment, energy, climate change and the Seacoast region for NHPR since 2017. She leads the newsroom's climate reporting project, By Degrees.
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