Weitz & Luxenberg and Erin Brockovich broadened their investigation into regional water contamination today, announcing they will begin looking into the recent detection of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in the local drinking water of Merrimack, NH. The announcement comes after the consumer advocate and law firm started similar investigations in New York and Vermont.
“Almost every week a new community learns its drinking water is no longer safe,” said Erin Brockovich. “We have to put an end to this crisis, step up our investment into vital infrastructure and see a greater enforcement of the Safe Drinking Water Act.”
Representatives from the company Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics recently notified the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services that PFOA was detected in water samples taken from four water faucets within its Merrimack facility, which is served by the Merrimack Village District Water System. Chronic PFOA exposure has been linked to testicular cancer, kidney cancer, thyroid disease, high cholesterol, ulcerative colitis and pregnancy-induced hypertension. Studies suggest other health consequences include a possible connection to pancreatic cancer.
“It is tragic to see yet another community impacted by PFOA contamination,” said Robin Greenwald, head of the Environmental and Consumer Protection Unit at Weitz & Luxenberg. “We have decided to expand the scope of our drinking water investigation to understand the health risks to residents of Merrimack and provide the community with robust legal options. And, once again, as in Hoosick Falls, NY, St. Gobain appears to be the entity responsible for the contamination.”
Ms. Brockovich and Weitz & Luxenberg recently filed a federal class-action lawsuit against Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp. and Honeywell International Inc. on behalf of Hoosick Falls, NY residents who have been drinking water contaminated by PFOA. The case was filed after local residents reported falling ill after drinking and cooking with this water.
In addition, Ms. Brockovich and Weitz & Luxenberg recently announced an investigation into suspected causes and consequences of PFOA water contamination affecting Petersburgh, NY, and North Bennington, VT.