“New Hampshire lawmakers have introduced several bills this legislative session aimed at imposing stricter regulation of perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) in the environment. 

Three of the bills — House Bills 1101 and 485 and Senate Bill 309 — would provide the NH Department of Environmental Services with the authority to regulate groundwater pollution caused by air emissions and instruct the agency to reconsider drinking water standards. 

‘We currently don’t have the ability to take into account businesses that put out certain pollutants into the air that might have an impact on groundwater,’ said Jim Martin, NHDES spokesperson. ‘The rules or way we do those types of investigations haven’t really connected those two dots and we’ve been looking for a legislative fix to that issue.’

But legislation requiring NHDES to presumably lower drinking water standards requires additional resources and staff to determine what would be an appropriate standard, he said.

‘We told the Legislature we’d be willing to reconsider drinking water standards, we just didn’t want the Legislature to dictate what a new standard should be,’ said Martin.

In May 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a suggested health advisory guideline of 70 parts per trillion for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), which NHDES adopted for its drinking water quality standard.

The current legislative effort targets perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), and some of the bills even extend the focus to include other chemical compounds, including perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) and perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxS).

But legislators, including Rep. Mindi Messmer, D-Rye, note that other states have adopted stricter standards.”

Read the extensive full article by Liisa Rajala.