Saint Gobain

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

The state holds a public hearing tonight about a new air emissions permit for the Saint-Gobain plastics factory in Merrimack. The facility is being held responsible for contaminating nearby drinking water with PFAS chemicals from its smokestacks.

The proposed air permit would dictate pollution controls for those stacks to prevent more chemicals from settling into soil and groundwater.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: October 4, 2019

Oct 4, 2019

NHPR's Casey McDermott hosts the Weekly New Hampshire News Roundup.  New Hampshire was hit with a lawsuit over its new limits on chemicals in drinking water on the same day the new regulation took effect.  In a rare reversal, the state Attorney General's office says a Claremont fatal police shooting is no longer considered legally justified.  Syringe services were long ago adopted in some parts of the country as a useful public health tool. Why, in a state hit hard by the opioid crisis, has New Hampshire been so slow to adopt them?

Annie Ropeik for NHPR

The EPA says new types of nonstick industrial chemicals might not be much safer than their predecessors – raising alarm in parts of New Hampshire.

For years, companies used fluorinated chemicals like PFOA and PFOS to make nonstick, waterproof or stain-resistant products.

Now, science suggests those chemicals can harm human health even at very low levels.

So industry has replaced them with similar compounds called GenX. They're all part of the PFAS family.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: October 12, 2018

Oct 12, 2018

The debate season is well underway, and in the first congressional district, the two candidates are staking out their differences - but both agree, the historic nature of their race is no big deal.  More than two dozen sites at the Saint Gobain plant are under scrutiny for contamination. And the bear-human conflicts continues this fall, with Fish & Game making the decision to shoot two bear cubs in Manchester. 

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Some southern New Hampshire residents are furious the state isn’t acting more quickly to control PFAS chemical pollution. They heard the latest from regulators Wednesday night at a public meeting in Merrimack.

Two years after Merrimack’s Saint Gobain factory disclosed major PFAS air emissions, residents still feel the plant poses an immediate threat.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

 

The state has ordered the Saint Gobain plastics manufacturer to install air pollution controls on its Merrimack factory. 

 

The facility’s smokestacks are thought to be the source of high levels of PFAS chemicals that contaminated nearby drinking water wells two years ago. 

The Merrimack River will briefly run red Tuesday, as officials use dye to test the flow of storm water around a local factory.

The Department of Environmental Services says a contractor for plastics manufacturer Saint Gobain will deploy red dye into the river in Merrimack.

They say the dye will show how surface water and storm water interact in the river. The dye could be visible in the water for up to two hours.

Officials say they've done similar tests in the past at wastewater treatment plants on the Seacoast.

Town of Merrimack

The state has confirmed unsafe levels of PFAS chemical contamination at a town park and former industrial site in Merrimack.

This comes nearly a year after the site's owner first reported finding the toxins in groundwater at the former chemical plant and tannery.

New Hampshire’s congressional delegation wants more federal study of PFAS chemical contamination in Merrimack.  

The federal lawmakers wrote last week to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, an arm of the Centers for Disease Control.

That office has helped investigate health effects of PFAS contamination on the Seacoast. Now, the delegation wants them to do the same in Merrimack.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

New Englanders had a chance to speak out this week about what they want to see in new Environmental Protection Agency rules for industrial chemicals in drinking water – but residents say the proof that they were heard will be in what the regulators do next.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

New Hampshire residents can have their say Monday night about future federal regulations on a class of potentially toxic industrial chemicals called PFAS.

Exeter will host two days of New England-wide public meetings on the issue.

It’s the EPA’s first regional public engagement on its new standards for PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

The federal government has published new data about the health risks of industrial chemicals known as PFAS.

The Centers for Disease Control study backs the concerns of some residents in contaminated areas here in New Hampshire, who say federal and state limits on PFAS aren't strict enough.

Many lawmakers, including New Hampshire’s congressional delegation, called for the study’s release after reports that the White House and Environmental Protection Agency had sought to withhold the data.

Annie Ropeik for NHPR

Residents in and around Merrimack are nearing the end of a two-year struggle with contaminated drinking water.

Hundreds of private water wells near the Saint Gobain plastics factory have been contaminated during that time with suspected carcinogens called PFCs

FILE

Hundreds of people in a New Hampshire town have signed a petition asking a plastics company believed to be the source of tainted groundwater to pay for water filters at the town's schools.

The group of Merrimack residents says Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics has provided filtration in other towns with contaminated water, but taxpayers are currently paying to filter water at Merrimack schools.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

The state’s deal with the Saint Gobain plastics company to fix water pollution in southern New Hampshire is unprecedented in size – but officials say it doesn’t cover everything.

The deal was announced this week, and environmental regulators answered residents’ questions about it at a public meeting in Litchfield Thursday night.