Read full article by Jeff McMenemy (Seacoast Online)

“State Rep. Renny Cushing plans to introduce legislation that will require the manufactures of all bottled water sold in the state to include information on the bottle about what’s inside.

Cushing, D-Hampton, said if his bill is passed into law it ‘will require labeling on all bottled water that’s sold in the state to list the amount of PFAS, arsenic and MTBE found in the water,’ Cushing said in an interview…

The legislation is aimed at ‘forcing people who want to sell bottled water in New Hampshire to test the water and then label the water in terms of PFAS, arsenic and MTBE,’ he said.

The state Department of Environmental Services recently established much stricter water-quality standards for PFAS than the Environmental Protection Agency’s health advisory of 70 parts per trillion for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS).

The standards the state will put into effect for municipal water systems on Oct. 1 is 12 parts per trillion(ppt) for PFOA, 15 ppt for PFOS, 18 ppt for perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxs) and 11 ppt for perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA).

Because of those new standards, DES ‘anticipated we would get a lot of questions about bottled water,’ James Martin, spokesperson for DES, said this week.

So they decided to test 20 different brands of bottled water sold in Southern New Hampshire, Martin said.

‘A couple of those samples came back significantly higher than the standards,’ Martin said.

One of those companies who provided the bottled water, Spring Hill Dairy Farm in Haverhill, Massachusetts, ended its water operations after DES announced its results…

Cushing stated he was ‘surprised to learn after the DES adopted the PFAS levels that some of the water on grocery store shelves exceeded those standards.’

‘We ought to be testing so people know what they’re getting if they spend their money on bottled water,’ Cushing said.

He added companies with the purest water will likely gain a competitive advantage because of that…

Scientist and former state Rep. Mindi Messmer filed a similar bill in 2018 which faced heavy opposition from lobbyists, she said…

She hopes Cushing’s bill will be passed into law and reminded state residents that ‘when you rely on bottled water you should understand it’s not as regulated as tap water.

‘This bill will require companies to put the results of PFAS, arsenic and MTBE on the label,’ Messmer said. ‘That way consumers will know the results.’

DES established the new water quality levels to ‘ensure greater protection of public health related to the consumption of drinking water.’

The EPA in May 2016 set permanent health advisories for PFOS and PFOA at 70 ppt. But many states, including New Hampshire, have now set substantially lower levels, believing the EPA’s standards are not protective enough…”