On Friday, March 19, 2021, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services through the Office of the Attorney General (collectively, the “State”) and Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics (“SGPP”) entered into a Consent Decree. The purpose of the Consent Decree was to address SGPP’s failure to install air pollution control equipment by the February 11, 2021 deadline as required by their temporary permit and state statute. The Consent Decree has been filed by NHDES in Hillsborough Superior Court to settle the State’s complaint for preliminary and permanent injunctive relief and civil penalties against SGPP.
The key elements of the Consent Decree include the following:
- SGPP has agreed to complete installation of the air pollution control equipment by July 30, 2021.
- SGPP will implement operational changes at the facility to ensure that air emissions from the facility are maintained at a level to ensure the facility does not “cause or contribute” to exceedances of Ambient Groundwater Quality Standards in the surrounding communities.
- SGPP has agreed to undertake and complete an analysis of raw materials used at the facility and use the results to conduct a material balance. The material balance will be used to determine worst-case potential hydrogen fluoride (“HF”) emissions resulting from operation of the air pollution control equipment and will be used to evaluate the facility’s compliance status with respect to the state air toxic inhalation standards for HF.
- SGPP has agreed to complete enhanced levels of emission stack testing both on the inlet and outlet of the air pollution control equipment after installation is completed.
- SGPP has agreed to conduct a rainwater study at on-site and off-site locations to provide additional information on rainwater PFAS concentrations downwind of the facility and background levels within the state.
- SGPP has agreed to pay a civil penalty as part of the agreement.