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State, Saint-Gobain reach new water extension deal

New Hampshire Union Leader

March 20. 2018 11:05PM
Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics in Merrimack. (Kimberly Houghton/Correspondent)

LITCHFIELD — State environmental regulators and Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics reached agreement on extending municipal water to 189 properties and giving treatment systems to four others that can’t access town water in Bedford, officials announced Tuesday.

The plan would offer to make connections known as curb stops to another 109 undeveloped properties in Bedford, Litchfield, Manchester and Merrimack.

The state Department of Environmental Services (DES) will present details of this agreement during a public meeting at Campbell High School in Litchfield tonight starting at 6:30 p.m.

“I understand the frustration felt by the residents of Bedford, Litchfield and Merrimack with the amount of time it has taken to come to this point, but we believe that it was vital to negotiate a comprehensive agreement,” DES Commissioner Robert Scott said in a statement.

“The positive outcome of these negotiations will serve the residents of this area well over the long-term.”

The state and company have been working without an agreement for more than two years since government testing found the presence of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in area groundwater. The firm earlier agreed to connect 450 other properties to town water lines and provide treatment systems for more than 50 other properties.

This deal would connect municipal water to 121 properties in Bedford, 41 additional ones in Merrimack, 27 additional properties in Litchfield as well as the four in Bedford that get their own treatment systems.

“We’ve been a part of this community for many years and our top priority was always to take a leadership position in our response,” said Tom Kinisky, CEO of Saint-Gobain.

“With this Consent Decree now signed, we remain committed to working with community partners to finalize the work left to be done.”

The plan calls for making the connections to the occupied properties by the end of the year, weather and other factors permitting, Scott said.

The owners of undeveloped properties should get their offers to get a hook up by no later than November 2019, he added.

Environment Technology Merrimack State Government

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