Read the full article by Ken Liebeskind
“MERRIMACK – In the ongoing effort to protect New Hampshire’s water from cancer-causing chemicals, some Merrimack and Portsmouth residents are starring in a video produced by the office of U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H.
The materials are known as per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS. They are generally associated with the production of plastics, foams, and waxes – and have been identified near the Saint Gobain Performance Plastics facility at Merrimack.
Laurene Allen and Katharine Hodge started Merrimack Citizens for Clean Water, while Andrea Amico launched Testing for Pease, a community action group that assists those impacted by PFAS water contamination at the former Pease Air Force base in Portsmouth. They appear in ‘These Granite Staters are Advocating for Their Communities,’ a two-and-a-half minute video that can be viewed on Hassan’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
‘These Granite Staters from Merrimack and Portsmouth have been fighting for answers about PFAS contamination,’ the video posts at the beginning. Then, all three residents comment on the action they have taken, with Amico discussing the health studies, medical monitoring and blood testing that has been done in Portsmouth through the advocacy of Testing for Pease. There is also a shot of Hassan, who participated in the first Senate hearing on PFAS contamination in September.
The three residents traveled to Washington, D.C. on Sept. 26 to attend that hearing and met with Hassan in her office before the hearing took place.
The video was shot by Cara Schumann, Hassan’s digital press assistant.
‘We were talking in a roundtable with folks from other states and were asked if we would stay to make the video,’ Laurene Allen said. ‘It was very powerful for Kathy and me as Merrimack residents. There is no blood testing here or true remediation plans and the water is still contaminated, and they felt we were worthy enough to deserve a mention. This is the first time we’ve gone on record.’
The video highlights resident views of what they have done in response to the PFAS water contamination in Merrimack at the Saint-Gobain plant and at the Pease Air Force base in Portsmouth.”