Merrimack Village water system sues Saint-Gobain, two other local manufacturers

·2 min read

Sep. 25—The Merrimack Village District water utility is suing French manufacturing giant Saint-Gobain and two local manufacturers over groundwater polluted with "forever chemicals," which the water utility alleges was a result of the companies' manufacturing practices even after they knew the chemicals were harmful.

The Merrimack Village District's suit was filed last week in Hillsborough County Superior Court, according to a news release from the utility. The suit names Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics as a defendant, along with Textiles Coated International of Londonderry and DiaCom Corporation of Amherst.

The suit alleges the companies discharged per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, often called PFAS or "forever chemicals," into the local environment, where the chemicals contaminated the Merrimack Village District's groundwater supply wells.

"Saint-Gobain is aware of MVD's amended Complaint naming SG in its action against the other two defendants," Saint-Gobain spokeswoman Lia LoBello said in an emailed statement. "We are reviewing the Complaint and will respond, as appropriate."

Textiles Coated did not respond to an emailed inquiry Saturday, and the Sunday News was unable to reach DiaCom.

The suit alleges all three companies used methods of production that they knew polluted the area with chemicals considered toxic.

"The lawsuit seeks to hold defendants accountable for the impacts of these harmful chemicals on the Village District's water sources," stated a news release from the district.

"This legal action is our necessary response to the PFAS contamination of the Village District's customers' drinking water by corporate polluters who have profited significantly by their use of these man-made PFAS chemicals," Don Provencher, chairman of the district's board of commissioners, said in a statement. "The Village District is demanding action and solutions from those responsible parties."

The lawsuit comes after another action filed by the town of Merrimack against Saint-Gobain earlier this year after the company missed a state-mandated deadline to install a filtration system.

The state Department of Environmental Services sued, too, an action which ended in a settlement where Saint-Gobain paid a fine of up to $200,000 and reduced the operating hours of the Merrimack plant, in an effort to reduce emissions, until the filtration system could be installed.

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