Two PFC lawsuits against Saint-Gobain

May 14, 2018

BY: Citizens Count

Citizens have filed two lawsuits against Saint-Gobain over water contamination.

The move comes despite a March announcement that Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics reached an agreement with the state to extend municipal water lines to hundreds of properties in Bedford, Litchfield, and Merrimack.

What are PFCs?

Saint-Gobain is being held responsible for perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) in the water supply.

PFCs are used in firefighting foam, nonstick cookware, stain-resistant carpeting, and many other products. The long-term health effects of PFCs are not fully understood. While almost everyone has small amounts of PFCs in their body, some studies suggest long-term exposure is linked to cancer and other health problems.

About the lawsuits

In both lawsuits, residents of Bedford, Litchfield, and Merrimack are suing Saint-Gobain over lost property values, the cost of remediation, and the cost of medical monitoring for health problems.

One lawsuit is also suing the Merrimack Village District Water Works, the public water supply.

Unclear law on PFCs

The federal Environmental Protection Agency has suggested limits on PFCs in water, but has no enforceable regulation on PFCs.

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services started investigating PFC contamination in Merrimack in 2016, after Saint-Gobain tested public water and reported the contamination. However, state-level regulation of PFCs is still in the works.

This year the New Hampshire Legislature has passed several bills aimed at regulating PFC contamination.

Click here to visit our issue page on Water Sustainability and learn more about the latest bills related to PFCs.

Do you think Saint-Gobain should compensate residents of Bedford, Litchfield, and Merrimack? Or is it enough that they are now providing public water to those residents? Share your opinion in the comments below.


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