Merrimack, N.H., residents have expressed their concern and distrust that requirements in a recently proposed air permit for Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics would eliminate contaminated emissions—particularly per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)—from its smokestacks.
New Hampshire Union Leader reports that 190 PFAS compounds have been identified as being released from the stacks at Saint-Gobain, yet New Hampshire legislation only addresses four of those compounds. The report notes that the company is proposing in its air permit to utilize a three-chamber regenerative thermal oxidizer to eliminate PFAS compounds from being emitted into the air.
The process aims for 90 percent control efficiency based on PFAS deposition modeling, and the cost of a regenerative thermal oxidizer is estimated at about $3 million. Town officials, however, argue that 90 percent control efficiency is not enough; they say the level of destructive effectiveness should be closer to 95 to 99 percent.
New Hampshire Union Leader has more:
Local residents say they do not trust that requirements in a newly proposed air permit for Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics will fully eliminate contaminated emissions from its smokestacks.
Although the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services required that the Saint-Gobain plant investigate and apply for a permit to install air pollution controls on its Merrimack facility, residents said during a public hearing on Tuesday that the draft air permit will not do enough, adding they do not want to settle.
“Our community has endured a lot of harm. We are ground zero for PFAS,” said Laurene Allen of Merrimack Citizens for Clean Water.