FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: March 20, 2018
CONTACT: Jim Martin, 603 271-3710
New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Reach Agreement on Consent Decree
Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES), represented by the Office of the Attorney General, and Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics (SGPPL) announced today they have reached an agreement to permanently provide safe drinking water to 302 properties in portions of the towns of Bedford, Litchfield, and Merrimack, New Hampshire in addition to the over 450 properties already being addressed.
“We are extremely pleased that NHDES and Saint-Gobain were able to reach agreement on connecting all of the disputed properties to an alternate water source,” said Robert R. Scott, NHDES Commissioner. “I understand the frustration felt by the residents of Bedford, Litchfield and Merrimack with the amount of time it has taken to come to this point, but we believe that it was vital to negotiate a comprehensive agreement. The positive outcome of these negotiations will serve the residents of this area well over the long-term.”
NHDES and SGPPL have been working cooperatively and without a formal agreement for more than two years in response to the presence of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in groundwater in the area. During this time, more than 1,500 samples have been collected from groundwater, surface water, and water supply wells in the impacted towns. In addition, SGPPL voluntarily provided bottled water to residents living in the towns, provided point-of-use treatment systems for more than 50 properties, and connected more than 450 properties to municipal water lines.
“Since first learning about the presence of PFOA in Merrimack, Saint-Gobain and NHDES have focused on finding solutions as quickly as possible. This collaboration has enabled us to accomplish a lot of work in a relatively short amount of time given the size and complexity of this issue,” said Tom Kinisky, CEO of Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics. “We’ve been a part of this community for many years and our top priority was always to take a leadership position in our response. With this Consent Decree now signed, we remain committed to working with community partners to finalize the work left to be done.”
In addition to the work that SGPPL and NHDES have already completed, the Consent Decree will provide for:
Municipal water line connections to 121 properties in Bedford and point-of-entry treatment (POET) systems for four additional properties in Bedford where it is not feasible to extend municipal water lines.
Municipal water line connections to 41 additional properties in Merrimack.
Municipal water line extensions to 27 additional properties in Litchfield.
Curb stops installed to 109 currently underdeveloped properties in Bedford, Litchfield, Manchester, and Merrimack so that municipal water may be provided to such properties in the future if those properties are developed.
Site investigation activities including, but not limited to, groundwater, drinking water, surface water, soil and air testing.
Source remediation if necessary.
Every effort will be made to connect properties with an existing waterline extension design before the end of 2018, weather, contracting availability and other similar factors permitting. Water line extensions to properties where design plans need to be completed will be done as soon as possible, but no later than November of 2019.
Pursuant to the Consent Decree, the State did not waive any private right of action by any individuals or parties.
A meeting will be held for all affected communities (Bedford, Litchfield and Merrimack) at Campbell High School at 1 Highlander Court, Litchfield, NH 03052, on Wednesday, March 21, at 6:30 pm to discuss the specifics of the agreement and the steps that will follow.
For Live video coverage of the meeting click on the following link: http://trms.bedfordtv.com/CablecastPublicSite/watch/3?channel=1
or follow the instructions below.
Streaming Live Access Through the BCTV Webpage:
Go to the BCTV webpage: www.bedfordtv.com
On the home page under the Channel 16 icon click on “Watch Live”
For those cannot attend the meeting office hours with NHDES personnel to discuss the settlement will be held at the following times and locations:
Thursday 22 March:
8:00 am – 10:00 am Bedford Town Office Building, 24 Amherst Road
10:30 am – 2:30 pm Merrimack Town Hall, 6 Baboosic Lake Road
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Bedford Town Office Building
These times are not for fixed presentations. Affected citizens are welcome to attend whatever times they can make and their questions will be answered in order. Additional meetings will be scheduled as needed.
For additional information on this agreement, please contact:
For New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services:
For Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics:
Dina Silver Pokedoff