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Urge your senators to support HB494

By Suzanne Paquin | May 26, 2019

How concerned should we be about PFAS contamination in NH and especially around Nashua? After watching “The Devil You Know” at the Nashua Public Library with discussion led by Mindi Messmer, an environmental scientist and former State Representative from Rye, and Nancy Murphy (D-Merrimack), I concluded the answer is “very.”

PFAS (per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances with brand names like Teflon and Gore-Tex) are everywhere. From the film, I learned that:

A class action lawsuit by residents of Parkersburg, West Virginia, funded reliable medical studies that link PFAS exposure to specific cancers and to harmful effects on child development, fertility, cholesterol levels and the immune system.

That Dupont has reformulated PFAS: under a new corporate subsidiary (Chemours) and a new product name (GenX) similar substances are in production with litigation in progress in Virginia, Texas, the Netherlands and Italy for seeking to block contaminated waste disposal.

California, Connecticut, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Vermont have opted for more stringent PFAS safe drinking water standards than those set by the EPA (where former Dupont executives now set standards)

From Messmer and Murphy I learned that:

NH now has highest rates of pediatric, breast, bladder and esophageal cancer in the nation according to the CDC.

Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics in Merrimack has yet to filter its air stacks due to “permitting delays.” An adjacent land parcel – where the Flatley Company plans include new construction of 240 residential units – had ground water contamination levels 20 times the state limit.

Comprehensive recurring testing is an aspiration – we cannot equate lack of evidence with no contamination. 2018 sampling at Nashua’s Gilson Road Superfund site NH DES found PFAS present and “further delineation is warranted.”

High PFAS levels have been detected by monitoring wells around the Coakley Landfill Superfund dump in North Hampton and the Ottati & Goss Superfund Site in Kingston. These sites have been spewing PFAS into our groundwater, drinking water, brooks, and streams for decades.

Get informed and hold your elected representatives accountable. Start by checking the Facebook page of the NH Safe Water Alliance for future screenings of the Devil We Know, visit http://bit.ly/NHSWA, or download it from Netflix. Support our Seacoast: Go to http://bit.ly/senate494 to urge your senators to support HB494 – which accelerates cleanup of the Coakley Landfill Superfund site. Then keep going!


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