Nonstick Chemicals Slipped Into Water, Causing Health, Environmental, Regulatory Mess
State officials identified Saint-Gobain’s Merrimack facility, along with sister production sites in New York and Vermont, as sources of chemical contamination of household wells and public drinking water supplies.
James Brindle, a Defense Department spokesman, told Circle of Blue that the department does not yet have cleanup cost figures that it can release publicly.
And the agency worked with industry to phase out production of PFOA and PFOS.
Without national standards “it will remain unnecessarily difficult for drinking water suppliers, owners of contaminated land, and others concerned about the potential public health consequences of PFASs to address the sources of PFAS contamination and recover cleanup costs from responsible parties.” In the absence of federal rules, state leaders are on their own to set standards.
From 2006 to 2016 the state tested more than 1,000 water samples from 80 public water systems.
Still, only now is the state acting — and the regulations affect drinking water providers not the chemical manufacturers.
But state tests found the well exceeded the 70 parts per trillion standard for PFOA and PFOS, as did three private wells in the neighborhood.
Other wells near the Kingston fire station showed hundreds of parts per trillion of unregulated PFAS compounds, Kernen said.
At another site, near a car wash, testing of a monitoring well showed more than 9,000 parts per trillion of unregulated PFAS compounds.
Some 500 homes whose wells were polluted were connected to a public water system.