State Contacts Local Firms to Determine Potential Use of PFC’s

As part of its ongoing investigation into ground water and soil contaminated with perfluoroctanoic acid (PFOA) in southern New Hampshire, the state Department of Environmental Services (DES) contacted 44 companies that may have used the chemical.

Among the companies to whom the DES sent certified letters asking for information related to any past or present use of perfluorinated chemicals (PFC’s) were Klüber Lubrication and Wire Belt Company of America, both in Londonderry.

The DES asked the companies to provide details on whether PFC’s have been used at their facilities in the past, how frequently they were used, if they are still being used and how they are used, according to DES Public Information Officer Jim Martin.

“Some of the responses have started coming in,” he said.

The DES has not yet received a response from the Londonderry companies.

“We do want to stress just because a company uses PFC’s, or may or may not have used them in the past, doesn’t mean they have contamination issues related to their use,” Martin said, distinguishing the companies contacted for information about their potential use of PFC’s from Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics.

Saint-Gobain requested the DES investigate other potential responsible parties, according to Martin.

“The extent to which Saint-Gobain is responsible for the contamination, we are still investigating that,” he said.

On May 4, the DES announced Saint-Gobain had agreed to fund design efforts for a potential extension of public water service into the State’s PFOA investigation area, which is primarily located in Litchfield.

“Saint-Gobain has made this commitment while NHDES continues to investigate other potentially responsible parties, who may also bear financial responsibilities,” the DES wrote in a press release. “The Pennichuck Corporation, the Merrimack Village District Water Works, and the Manchester Water Works, at the request of NHDES, have agreed to work with Saint-Gobain, NHDES, the affected towns and any additional potentially responsible parties that are identified in this effort to accelerate a long-term solution that will deliver clean and safe drinking water to the affected area.”

The most recent drinking water test results for samples collected in Londonderry, which were released on May 9, reveal two wells tested have levels of 6 parts per trillion (ppt) and 4 ppt. The remaining eight wells to be tested have not yet been sampled.

Any properties served by wells that test over 100 ppt are being provided with bottled water until a permanent solution is available.

To view the complete list of facilities identified as potential past or present users of PFC compounds, visit the DES online at http://des.nh.gov/organization/commissioner/pfoa.htm.

Residents will also find updated water test results on that page, which is dedicated to the State’s investigation into PFOA found in southern New Hampshire drinking water.

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