Read the full article by Kimberley Houghton (Union Leader)

“A proposed research and development facility in Merrimack is raising concerns about how it will affect the local water supply.

Officials of the Merrimack Village District are speaking out about John J. Flatley Company’s project, which is eyed for a contaminated 45-acre parcel next to Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics on Daniel Webster Highway.

Once the site is paved and developed, the stormwater that previously entered the ground will now be discharged rather than infiltrated back into the groundwater aquifer, according to Don Provencher, chairman of the MVD board of commissioners.

The land where the newly proposed three-building research and development facility will be constructed is the wellhead protection area for two MVD wells, wells four and five.

‘This is a limited aquifer,’ said Provencher, explaining there isn’t enough groundwater to sustain the entire season, particularly in the summer.

In a letter to planning officials, Provencher stressed that development of the site would substantially decrease the areas available for natural recharge as land is converted to pavement and buildings.

He added that if the runoff collected from the developed areas is not infiltrated back into the groundwater aquifer, the two wells could lose some of their groundwater supply. Those two wells, which had been offline for about four years, have been back in operation now for about a month, said Provencher.

‘By not requiring any groundwater remediation, what message is that going to send to other potentially responsible parties — other polluters in the state?’ he questioned on Wednesday.

Contamination problem

Previously, groundwater contamination more than 20 times the state standard was detected at the parcel next to Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics. Perfluorooctanoic acid was discovered at concentrations of 1,400 nanograms per liter, which substantially exceeds the New Hampshire Ambient Groundwater Quality Standards.

The John J. Flatley Company has been directed by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services to capture their stormwater, utilize a sand and gravel filter and essentially discharge it in Dumpling Brook in the Merrimack River rather than capture and infiltrate, which is the standard course of action under Merrimack’s stormwater requirements…”