Read full article by Michael Casey (Associated Press)
“Lawyers for 3M, a farmer and several others urged a judge Friday to scrap drinking water standards in the state that go far beyond federal limits for toxic chemicals once used in firefighting foam and nonstick cookware.
The group sued the state’s Department of Environmental Resources Commissioner Robert Scott last month, alleging the state didn’t follow the appropriate process in approving the standard earlier this year for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, collectively called PFAS. The state denied wrongdoing.
The New Hampshire standard limits one chemical to a maximum of 12 parts per trillion and another to 15 parts per trillion, far lower than the 70 parts per trillion the Environmental Protection Agency has advised for the chemicals…
Merrimack County Superior Court Judge Richard McNamara said he would take under advisement a request by the plaintiffs for him to put the standards on hold. They went into effect last month.
‘In the end, this is about the integrity of a process,’ said Terri Pastori, one of the lawyers for several plaintiffs, which include the town of Plymouth, a farmer and a sludge company.
‘The way this process was done is not consistent with the way we do things in New Hampshire,’ she told the court. ‘It doesn’t hurt the state to make it go back and do what it should have done to begin with.’
Pastori and Mark Rouvalis, who was representing 3M, contend that the state didn’t do a proper cost-benefit analysis before proposing the new regulations this year. They also accused the state of not allowing adequate public comment before approving the standards.
The state has argued that it followed the rules in drafting the new standards and that the concerns about cost are being exaggerated…
Outside the court, more than a dozen protesters, some with signs attacking 3M, argued the companies fighting the new standards were putting profits over the health of the state’s citizens.
‘This is the height of corporate greed,’ said Mindi Messmer, an environmental scientist and former legislator. ‘We want to know that when we turn on that tap, we don’t have to worry about the safety of the water.'”