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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?

EPA Proposes Broader Clean-Up Plan At Merrimack Superfund Site

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The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing new health restrictions around a Superfund site in the town of Merrimack.

The New Hampshire Plating Company site near the Merrimack River housed an electroplating factory until the 1980s. It left toxic chemicals like lead and arsenic in the soil and groundwater. 

The EPA’s original cleanup plan mostly involved treating contaminated soil and monitoring the groundwater as the chemicals faded away on their own. 

Now, they say that’s not working as quickly as expected – and they have new evidence that the contaminated groundwater could cause toxic vapors in nearby buildings. 

The EPA installed a vapor control system in one neighboring business last year and wants to study other ways to fix that problem and protect others nearby. They’re also proposing new limits on groundwater use in the area, and they’re adding PFAS chemicals and 1,4 dioxane to their cleanup plans. 

The state has concurred with the proposal, which is open for public comment until Sept. 16.

The Merrimack site is one of nearly two dozen Superfunds in the state.

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