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Saint-Gobain Challenges ‘Impossible’ Deadline for PFAS Cleanup

June 5, 2020, 7:37 PM

Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp., which is installing new technology to reduce PFAS air emissions at its New Hampshire facility, won’t be able to finish the project in time due to coronavirus restrictions and local dissent, the company said in a request announced Friday.

The company is responsible for building a scrubber at its Merrimack, N.H., facility to keep per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances from being released into the environment through air emissions. The substances, also known as PFAS, are associated with that facility’s fabric coating operations.

  • The town of Merrimack is appealing the permit, issued Feb. 11, that requires Saint-Gobain to build the scrubber, arguing that virus-related delays have made it “unrealistic, impractical, and likely impossible” to meet the Feb. 11, 2021 deadline to complete the scrubber.
  • The company is asking for an extension to Feb. 11, 2022, or one year after the town settles on a final permit. The state will take public comments on the request before making a final decision.
  • PFAS chemicals have been used to manufacture nonstick and stain-resistant coatings in clothing, fast-food wrappers, carpets, and other consumer and industrial products. Such chemicals may cause adverse health effects, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sylvia Carignan in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Gregory Henderson at; Rebecca Baker at