Consumer activist Erin Brockovich joins class action lawsuit with NH communities
MANCHESTER - Communities all over the Granite State are talking about the water they drink everyday and wondering if their well water could be contaminated. Today, the Weitz and Luxenberg law firm, along with famous consumer advocate Erin Brockovich, held a community meeting to address concerns of perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, contaminants.
You've probably seen the film from 2000 starring Julia Roberts. She portrayed Brockovich, an environmental activist who played a major part in building a case against a gas and electric company in California for drinking water contamination. That lawsuit ended in the largest settlement ever paid in a direct action lawsuit in U.S. history.
Now, Erin and the Weitz and Luxenberg law firm are heading a class action lawsuit against St. Gobain Performance Plastics.
Private wells in Merrimack, Amherst, Bedford, Litchfield and Manchester have tested with PFOA levels higher than the EPA suggested standards. A St. Gobain Performance Plastics facility is located in Merrimack.
Those homes are currently getting bottled water paid for by the plastics company as the state investigation is under way. The state just last week adopted the national EPA standards. They issued an advisory from 400 parts per trillion of PFOAs, down to 70 parts per trillion.
"Chemicals like PFOas are not naturally occurring, so if its in your water, somebody put it there," said Robin Greenwald of Weitz and Luxenberg. "Certainly the community didn't put it there, they don't use PFOAs. So, it's clearly put there by some industrial process."
"People have been living here for a while," said Greenwald. "It's not like the PFOA got in the water today, it might have tested today but the other question people have is 'How long have I been drinking this?'"
- New DES PFOA advisory standards
- Information on state investigation into St. Gobain's Performance Plastics
- Information on the class action lawsuit and the Weitz and Luxenberg law firm