Environmental organization sues Nylon Corporation of America

The Conservation Law Foundation filed a water quality law court case against the Nylon Corporation of America, claiming the Manchester-based company polluted the Merrimack River and breached its sewage and stormwater permits.

Erica Kyzmir-McKeon, an attorney with the Conservation Law Foundation, said the company’s sewage and stormwater discharges were polluting the Merrimack River with low pH levels, heavy metals and high temperatures.

Low pH levels and high temperatures can harm fish and other organisms in the river, and Kyzmir-McKeon says the discharges also affect people living downstream from the Nylon facility who use the Merrimack as a source of drinking water. Heavy metals released into the river could cause health problems such as cardiovascular disorders and a risk of cancer for humans.

Sewage overflows also affected the water quality of the Merrimack River, which approximately 500,000 people in Massachusetts use for drinking water, according to to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Many in the greater Nashua area also use the river as a source of drinking water, and Haverhill, Mass. and Manchester, New Hampshire plan to add seepage wells that would increase the number of people using the river as a water source to 700,000.

One of the heavy metals the Conservation Law Foundation says the company puts in the water is zincwhich, according to the Toxics and Diseases Agency, can cause anemia and lower levels of good cholesterol when ingested in large doses over a long period of time.

In the lawsuit, CLF alleges that Nylon Corporation put amounts of zinc in the river that exceeded its permits at least 30 times between 2017 and 2021. In one instance, the amount of zinc released from the facility exceeded the permit limit. by more than 800%.

As part of the Clean Water Act citizen lawsuit, the Conservation Law Foundation alerted the Nylon Corporation, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services to their complaint more than 60 years ago. days. Neither the EPA nor the New Hampshire DES took action to address the alleged pollution.

“This company has known for years that it is violating its permits and nothing has been done about it,” Kyzmir-McKeon said. “The hope…is that they will look at the sources of their sewage and stormwater pollutants and figure out what to do about it.”

Nylon Corporation of America did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

The Conservation Law Foundation filed another citizen complaint under the Clean Water Act in February against Schnitzer Steel Industries, saying it also dumped pollutants into the Merrimack River.

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